Sweary links #22

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.)

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Speaking of Trumpian vulgarities, Language Log ponders the candidate’s use of “like a bitch.”

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Arnold Zwicky tracks down the history of jackhole: coined by two Los Angeles radio personalities to circumvent Federal Communications Commission language proscriptions.

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(Hat tip: @scarequotes)

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Sweary links #21

Dick Assman, a Canadian gas station owner — yes, Assman the Gasman — has died at 82. He achieved fleeting celebrity in the 1990s when Dave Letterman featured him on the Late Show.

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Our new favorite Twitter account: Swear Trek.

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Why the f— do we do this and why the —k don’t we do that?

OK, look at this f—ing s—. And this f—king sh—. And this f–cking sh–t. And how about this s—t? Really, who are the c—s, c—ts, or c–nts who do that?

And, more importantly, why the —k don’t those —nts do it another way? What the –uck keeps them from doing this —it? Or, for that matter, fu— and shi– and cu—? Or, um, –uc– or –un–? Continue reading

“A feline profanity”: Part 1

Pity the poor media-standards editor in this sweary era. One can only imagine, for example, the wringing of hands and gnawing of blue pencils last month when, at a mass rally, the short-fingered vulgarian and U.S. presidential candidate Donald J. Trump repeated a supporter’s accusation that Trump’s rival Ted Cruz was “a pussy.”

Yes, the word was undiplomatic. And provocative. But was it newsworthy? Was it printable? And what did it signify?

(Beginning at 1:08)

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Guest post: Scandalous or not: how to effing decide

We’re pleased as fuck to bring you another guest post by trademark lawyer Anne Gilson LaLonde, the author of Gilson on Trademarks (a legal treatise on U.S. trademark law) and of the extremely popular Strong Language post “Trademarks the Government Doesn’t Want You to See.”  We’re doubly pleased to announce that Anne will be joining our merry band as a regular contributor.

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