The late great comedian George Carlin’s most famous routine was “The seven words you can’t say on TV.” That was in 1972.
My wife and I are longtime devotees of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Naughty words — “fuck” came up constantly — have always been bleeped. I found this annoying and silly. If you know the word will be bleeped, why say it?
We’ve also been watching Jordan Klepper’s The Opposition (a sort of Daily Show spin-off). The other night, Jordan said “shitty” and it was not bleeped. I turned to my wife and pointed this out. She, ever word-wise, suggested that perhaps “shitty” (even though it includes the four-letter word) wasn’t bleepworthy because it merely means having the characteristics of shit, which is not the same as shit itself.
Immediately afterwards we watched a DVR’d Daily Show. And guess what? Shit! The plain word was spoken — unbleeped.
So apparently we’re down to six words. Still a long way to go before George Carlin’s ghost can find rest. But at least now I feel free to properly revise this blog’s “posted in” category list.
This post first appeared on The Rational Optimist | Frank S. Robinson's Blog On Life, Society, Politics, And Philosophy, please read the originial post: here