Caught on tv recently, an ad for Oreo Fudge Cremes, viewable here, in which four exclamations (about the marvels of the cookies) go past very fast:
Whoa! … Get out! … Shut the front door! … Franklin Delano!
The last two are euphemized exclamations, neither of them clearly tied to specific taboo exclamations. But that didn’t stop a commenter from being outraged on behalf of the kiddies.
From AnonymousCoward on 4/23/11:
I think this is a terrible commercial when selling items to children. [Yes, I’ve added this to my collection of dangling modifiers.] You are endorsing swearing and encouraging children to swear. Plus, I truly want to see one mother say that [“Shut the front door!”, presumably] infront of her children.
AnonymousCoward takes the position that euphemisms — even euphemisms distant from the taboo expressions they substitute for — count as swearing. Avoid Obscenity Or Anything That Alludes To It.
Note 1: Franklin Delano! bears a family resemblance to W. C. Fields’s favorite euphemistic exclamation Godfrey Daniel! (though Fields’s version sticks pretty close to Goddamn!), and Franklin might be seen as suggesting fuck.
Note 2: Get out! is a conventionized exclamation conveying, roughly ‘wow!’ Get out of here is a longer variant. In the same family is Shut up! (a favorite exclamation — not always understood by others in the way intended — of Jenna Elfman’s character Dharma on the tv show Dharma and Greg). Also Shut my mouth! (I suppose that Shut the front door! might be seen as belonging to the same family, with front suggesting fuck(ing). But then we’re seeing fuck in any f-word whatsoever.)
I thought the ad writers did a good job of devising exclamations that sound slightly off-color without actually evoking taboo vocabulary. Not that it makes me want to rush out and buy Oreo Fudge Cremes.