Everything Language and Grammar

Quickly Growing Derogatory Terms

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 21, 2009

I’m guessing that the late George Carlin might have done a better job with the headline than “Quickly Growing Derogatory Terms,” but now that you can say pretty much anything on television, his headline of “Seven Things You Can’t Say on Television” is outdated.

A recent New York Times article (More Than Ever, You Can Say That on Television) highlights the increasing use of certain derogatory terms on television.

It seems as if the word “douche” is becoming the new “bitch,” having been said 76 times on 26 different shows so far this season; the use of bitch has tripled in the last decade, having been used 1,277 times on 685 shows in 2007. That’s a lot of female dogs.

The use of the terms, of course, is intended to shock us and lure us into watching more episodes, just to see how far they’ll go. The problem is that the shock value is lost in overuse, and it teaches our children that any language is acceptable.

–Paul

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