The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, March 14, 2004
 

A rude riddle


What's the difference between shit and crap?

The first is one of the famous George Carlin seven dirty words and is presumptively indecent (for 18 USC 1464 purposes, at least); the second is not, and may, it seems, be used pretty freely, even outside the safe harbour hours of 2200 to 0600 [1]. (It's used regularly in Buffy the Vampire Slayer [2], for instance.)

The difference in meaning between the two words? Angels on pinheads, surely? Great fun for lawyers, though...

  1. In his statement of February 11, Viacom President Mel Karmazin pledged that
    certain expletives like those contained in the George Carlin monologue "Filthy Words"...should not be broadcast at any time of the day, including "safe harbor" periods -except in the rare instance where deleting such language would undermine classic creative content delivered in context.
  2. What can I say? I was a fan (S1/S3 only): I have the PDF transcripts.

MORE

By way of illustration of Karmazin's comments, the transcript from Stern which, if I understand it aright, was the pretext for Clear Channel axing him from those six battleground states...oops, stations. He's talking to the other party in the Paris Hilton tape. It includes the question (from a caller):
Ever bang a famous nigger chick? What do they smell like? Watermelons?

Presumably callers are warned about the seven words. Nigger is dandy: just don't say fuck.

Yet, in the real world, the odd fuck here and there causes nary a flurry, whilst a nigger regularly causes shakedown fever on an epic scale. (The eeny meeny miney moe air stewardess didn't even say the word - and look what happened to her (January 28).)

Go figure.


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