Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Profanity in the News

This news item caught my eye. It has nothing particularly to do with the ancient world or academia, but the author is correct. This commentary says a lot:
I long for the days when comedians such as [Bill Cosby] could do a two hour routine without any gratuitous sexual references or vulgarity.
I remember Michael Medved made the point a couple of decades ago (and this is not a verbatim quote):
When was the last time you heard someone walk out of a movie and say: "That was a good film, but it needed more swear words"?
One can think of one of the climactic scenes from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth Bennett (who can certainly hold her own verbally) says:
You have insulted me in every possible method. (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, chapter 56).
And yet, no profanity or vulgarity appears in the chapter. Even in insults, one need not stoop so low.