THE PETTY FILE: Socially Tabooed Words Still a BFD

OMG, I’m totes LMAO. (Photo: Obama for America)

Some might recall the incident a couple of months ago when Rick “Potty-Mouth” Santorum’s late presidential campaign was tainted by controversy over an off-color verbal ejaculation made to a New York Times reporter. When Jeff Zeleny asked the candidate to clarify his statement that Mitt Romney is the “worst Republican in the country” to run against Obama (in the exchange, Santorum added the qualifier “on the issue of Obamacare”), Little Ricky got in a tiff and proceeded to say that if he saw the remark referenced in a story, it would be “bullshit.”

I then found myself in the interesting and unenviable position of defending Rick Santorum. I wasn’t defending his actions, of course; the reporter was merely doing his job by asking the presidential candidate to clarify his statement regarding a rival candidate. My defense was of his choice in words, particularly since the real point of the incident (Santorum unfairly castigating a member of the press) was largely lost amid the furor over the word “bullshit.” If there was any bullshit going around, it was the public’s (and the media’s) hype over Santorum using the socially tabooed word and overlooking the real issue.

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Let’s Talk Dirty: Socially Tabooed Words

(Cartoon: public domain)

READER DISCRETION ADVISED: If you’re offended by the words “shit,” “damn,” “bitch,” “ass,” or “fuck,” then … well, I suppose it doesn’t really matter at this point, does it? In all seriousness though, I’ll be using these and other words from the English language (some of which genuinely do have shock value and are offensive) in this post to the end of having an informed discussion about a relevant topic–namely, why certain words are tabooed and others aren’t. If that’s something you can’t handle, stop reading now.

There’s been a kerfuffle of late concerning Rick Santorum’s altercation with the New York Times reporter who asked him to clarify some statements he’d made about Mitt Romney. Santorum apparently thinks Romney’s the “worst Republican in America,” but only in certain contexts, as he curtly informed the Times reporter. Aside from there having been little to no reason for Santorum to get his tighty-whities in a tangle since the reporter’s question was completely legitimate, the entire basis for the news coverage was utterly inane.

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