Friday, December 12



On TV and radio, some words can be used when they are meaningless, but not when they refer to their basic meaning.

According the October FCC ruling, it was okay for Bono to say "this is really, really fucking brilliant" on the broadcast of Golden Globe Awards because the f-word "may be crude and offensive, but, in the context presented here, did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities."

There was, apparently a bit of conservative noise about the FCC's decision.

Then, this week, during the broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards, Nicole Ritchie [when talking about her time on the farm with Paris Hilton] said "Have you ever tried to get cow shit out of a Prada purse? It's not so fucking simple."

And, again, there are complaints.

If I understand the ruling correctly, if I am speaking over the airwaves, I could say that something was a really shitty thing to do but not that a cow took a shit. And, I could say that it was really fucking cold but not that we were really fucking because it was cold. I could not refer to "sexual or excretory organs or activities" in any graphic manner regardless of my use of expletives, but I could use those expletives when they refer to nothing.

Why rip meaning from a word? Why?