Maybe I’m just easily amused today, but three cartoons caught my eye: a Zippy, a Rhymes With Orange, and a Pearls Before Swine:
Archive for the ‘Taboo language and slurs’ Category
(The title provides a warning for the sensitive.)
On the 11th on Facebook, Greg Parkinson commented on steroid-induced gynecomastia, with this image:
Tom Kirkland followed up with:
What surprises me is … how large the fan base for bitchtits [is].
(introducing the slang bitchtits for gynecomastia; bitchtits would be doubly unsuitable for the New York Times, which treats both parts of the compound as taboo, unacceptable in print; also note the syntax).
Another in a series of periodic reports on taboo avoidance in the New York Times: three examples of an expletive / obscenity (from Ben Zimmer), plus one case where the paper breaks down and prints [expletive deleted], despite its stated policy not to do so (in this case, it’s hard to see how to avoid it).
Passed on by Larry Selinker on Facebook, this t-shirt purporting to be in “Irish” — well, Irish English:
Well I’ll be fucked.
Two items contributed by friends: something remarkable from the NYT, and something smaller from the BBC.
A recent Scenes from a Multiverse:
What’s a slur from an out-group member can be bonding from within the group. Many many examples.
From several sources, pointers to this piece of in-your-face public art:
From several sources recently, news of the battle by the band The Slants to register their name for trademark protection in the U.S. Here’s an NPR story, “Asian-American Band Fights To Trademark Name ‘The Slants’ “, and a brief thoughtful piece ”The Slants v, the USPTO” by Mark Liberman on Language Log.
The Slants have been up against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for some four years now (an earlier report appeared on this blog here). At issue is a U.S. statute that bars granting registration to a name that “consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter”; USPTO objects to “Slants” on the ground that it is a disparaging term for people of Asian descent. The band has taken various legal tacks over the years; the current case (in a federal circuit court) relies on appealing to the First Amendment, arguing that the USPTO rulings deny the benefits of trademark on the basis of the content of the Slants’ speech.
A Bent Pinky cartoon by Scott Metzger, sent to me by Tom Limoncelli:
A play on The Cat in the Hat, with the nice final rhyme:
… a cake and a cup / … shut the fuck up!
(but with fuck disguised by obscenicons).
Today’s Zippy, with Griffy and Zippy having another one of their Art Talks, with heavy similes:
In the background, Oh Fudge Lucille’s Candies in Brants Beach NJ:
Lucilles — note: no apostrophe — makes and sells fudge (among other things, like salt water taffy), but the name Oh Fudge alludes to the cutesy euphemism fudge for fuck.