Download Fuck: Word Taboo and Protecting our First Amendment by Christopher Fairman PDF

By Christopher Fairman

@$#*%! Our such a lot taboo note and the way the legislation retains it forbidden.

This pleasing learn is set the observe "fuck", the legislation, and the taboo. no matter if you shout it out on the street or whisper it within the bed room, intentionally plan a protest, or spontaneously blurt it out, in the event you say "fuck," a person desires to silence you, both with a filthy glance around the room or via creating a rule that you simply can't say the be aware. while it's the govt. attempting to cleanse your language, although, you might want to fear. phrases are rules. If the govt controls the phrases we use, it will possibly keep an eye on what we predict. to guard this liberty, we needs to first comprehend why the law's remedy of "fuck" places that freedom at risk.

This publication examines the legislation surrounding the be aware and divulges either inconsistencies in its therapy and pressure with different identifiable felony rights that the legislations easily doesn't solution. the facility of taboo offers the framework to appreciate those uncertainties. It additionally explains why makes an attempt to curtail using "fuck" via legislation are doomed to fail. essentially, it persists since it is taboo; no longer regardless of it.

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Additional resources for Fuck: Word Taboo and Protecting our First Amendment Liberties

Example text

The failure of the law to consistently distinguish between sexual and nonsexual uses of fuck is much of the problem. Even if you accept the idea that it’s okay for the government to restrict access to truly obscene material—that is, patently offensive descriptions of sexual conduct appealing to the prurient interest—the litmus test is that the material is about sex. Most of the time, fuck isn’t. It’s creepy to think about Uncle Sam peering under my sheets, but it’s flat out wrong to allow him to dictate false meanings to the words I choose.

So why do we choose that word? The subconscious mind and its universe of instincts and inherited memories grafts powerful, dark, sexual meaning to the word fuck. When a speaker experiences intense excitement and simultaneously reaches into his vocabulary pool, the powerful word that’s grabbed may derive its strength from taboo. Despite the denotation intended, the taboo remains imbedded like linguistic genetic code. Whether the listener understands the speaker’s intended meaning or not, word taboo engrafts the negative connotation and hence its inherent power.

The word for bear used by our Germanic ancestors is unknown today because it was never recorded. The word bear itself means “the brown one” and is a euphemism for the unknown word. Similarly, in parts of West Africa, the word for snake is taboo. 78 An additional reason for not using the names of dangerous animals is a fear that the animal might hear its name and attack. For example, certain fishermen in Papua New Guinea avoid talking about sharks and stingrays for fear of inviting an attack. If they are seen, the fishermen call them woo or fish instead of the more specific bawang (shark) or beoto (ray).

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