George Carlin did a bit about them in the early 70’s “The 7 Words You Can’t Say On T.V.” and it became one of his more famous underground hits. The whole idea of how and why certain designated sounds are so offensive to most people that we have evolved in this politically correct society as to render certain words to their first letter.?
It strikes me as a little funny that even though it’s unacceptable to say a word , for whatever reason like it’s a filthy slang used to degrade a group of people, O.K. that makes some sense but then to turn around and think it’s alright to refer to a word by it’s first letter ? ? ? does that not still implant the word and it’s meaning in the listeners mind.
You tell me, when I say or write ” The N word” you know exactly what word I mean. It has the same effect as the entire word. We make front page news when someone in the public eye is accused or using the “B” word or Jane Fonda said the “C” word on T.V..
I remember Lenny Bruce once did a spot in his show where he over-used dirty words. He looked straight at two black guys and said “we have two N…..’s in the room tonight.” he pointed out that by him saying that the two guys probably wanted to hit him, which they agreed they did. Lenny’s thought was say them all day, everyone say them, have the President come out and say them. Say them till they have no meaning anymore. Say them so much that never again will some little boy run home crying because someone called his the N word,
An interesting study done many years ago shed some light of “Bad Words” and why they are the ones they are. It’s not their meaning at all or some ancient belief that certain sounds were bad and others good.
It’s the facial muscles you use when you say them. Plain and simple, think … What’s the first thing you do when you say the F word ? You bite your lower lip. A very forceful action. That would explain how the word Fudge is so often used as a replacement word.
Safe to say Butterfly could never be listed as a “Dirty Word” it’s too face friendly to get mad about. I don’t advocate you spending your entire day testing out all the muscles you use to swear but if you did take a minute you’ll find everyone of the so called nasty words make you bite, clench, squeeze, widen or expand your mouth in some way or another.
Bringing us back to Mr. Carlin who brought to our attention the ridiculious difference between “prick your finger” and “finger your prick,” which is right up there with if you say cuff backwards you’re going to unravel a lot of folks. Oh we’ve come so far in all this time.