How did our parents explain what made certain words “bad” other than just telling us we shouldn’t say them? What exactly makes a word “bad”? I don’t know how we arrived at our socially agreed upon constructs that classified certain words as bad. We seemed to be offended by slang terms for some of our body parts and natural bodily functions. Organized religion certainly played a part in trying to keep God’s name sacred.
In 1972, George Carlin did a hilarious monologue called“Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”. These words were specifically prohibited from airing on television by the FCC after 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court found that the First Amendment’s freedom of speech does not apply to obscenity which can therefore be censored. The bad words were: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. He joked about how you could go to jail for saying those words. He goes on to poke fun at the double entendre examples of words such as ass and bitch that can have a supposed innocent meaning depending on usage. He cleverly pointed out that as children, we had to actually say a word out loud in order to find out if it was bad. According to the FCC’s own description, profane speech is so offensive that it amounts to a nuisance. Critics would say that could apply to the majority of TV commercials, which they would say are both offensive and a nuisance.
I would like to put forth “Seven Words We Should Say More Often” because they are “good”: