Wednesday, November 5, 2008

(expletive) sources -- including 'Big Bird dropping the F bomb'

The following are some recent news accounts related to "In defense of (expletive) expletives"

"Must It Always Be About Sex" -- New York Times, Nov. 2, 2008

Best part:

"The Oxford English Dictionary’s three core entries on the word — noun, verb and interjection — are about six times as long as this article. That doesn’t count about 30 derivations and compounds, all colorful and many recent. The nimble word, the dictionary tells us, can help express that a person is incompetent; that another is not be meddled with; that a situation has been botched; that one does not have the slightest clue; and, in a recent addition, that someone has enough money to be able to quit an unpleasant job."

"You know the word I mean."

"Supreme Court Appears Divided on TV profanity Case" -- Wall Street Journal, Oct. 4, 2008

Best part:

"Solicitor General Gregory Garre warned the justices that the broadcasters who challenged the 2004 rule want the right "to use expletives, whether in an isolated or repeated basis, 24 hours a day, going from the extreme example of Big Bird dropping the F-bomb on "Sesame Street," to the example of using that word during "Jeopardy" or opening the episode of "American Idol.'"" (emphasis mine)

"Don't Read His Lips -- You Might Be Offended"-- Wall Street Journal, Oct. 3, 2008

Best parts:

"The FCC's finding is 'absolute rubbish,' says Jesse Sheidlower, North America editor at large for the Oxford English Dictionary and author of its entry for f-."
"As for Bono, he regrets he used the word at the time. 'It's an uncool thing to do. I genuinely blew it,'"

"FCC v. Fox draws intense interest" -- First Amendment Center, Nov. 3, 2008

Best part, on Carter Phillips, who argued on behalf of Fox and the other broadcasters:

"Phillip's brief, by the way, uses the word “f---” 30 times, and “s---” 23 times. The government brief uses them only three times, when it quotes from the actual broadcasts at issue, but it uses asterisks or euphemisms in all other mentions of the word."

Primary Sources (PDF):
Raw document: U.S. Court of Appeals forthe Second Circuit: Fox Televisions Stations v. Federal Communications Commission (52 page PDF file, filled with "f" bombs)

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Raw document: Supreme Court oral arguments: FCC v. Fox Television Stations

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Oh, yeah, and Obama won.