For a couple of hours last week, a lot of people in the San Francisco area were under the impression that Bay Area Rapid Transit had, well, lost its shit.
“Get your shit together” from a public agency?
Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the media’s coverage of the Donald Trump pussy-grab tape: “The word Trump used may not be the most obscene term for a woman’s genital area. But it’s the one that focuses on it in a purely sexual way.” (Also see our own posts on the subject: A Banner Day for Profanity, by Ben Zimmer; Pussy on a Hot Trump Mic, by Copy Curmudgeon; and Watershed Moments: Donald Trump, Rakeyia Scott, and the Times, by Blake Eskin.)
Speaking of Trumpian vulgarities, Language Log ponders the candidate’s use of “like a bitch.”
Arnold Zwicky tracks down the history of jackhole: coined by two Los Angeles radio personalities to circumvent Federal Communications Commission language proscriptions.
(Hat tip: @scarequotes)
It’s wink-wink-nudge-nudge all the way down with these new ads, one circulating in San Francisco, the others in U.S.-wide distribution.
The San Francisco ad, which I spotted on the side of a Muni bus, is for CUESA, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, which operates several huge farmers’ markets each week in San Francisco and Oakland. The ads are meant to persuade shoppers to embrace less-than-supermarket-perfect fruits and vegetables.
Unpresidential profanity, parental profanity, constabulary profanity, embroidered profanity, and more:
In the U.S., live and “reality” television programs have long defended their audiences’ tender ears against accidental obscenity by deploying a brief broadcast delay – sometimes called the seven-second delay or the profanity delay – to give technicians time to replace offending language with a 1000 Hz tone known as a “bleep.” The bleep has become so embedded in popular culture that mockumentary-style sitcoms like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” often used it for comic effect.
More and more, advertisers are playing the game, too, inserting bleeps into scripts to signal how hip they are … or perhaps just to startle viewers awake.