Forbidden Words

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What is it

Some words, like n****r, ch*nk, and c*nt, are so forbidden that we won't even spell them out here. Decent people simply don't use these words to refer to others; they are intrinsically disrespectful. But aren't words just strings of sounds or letters? Words have life because they express ideas. But in a free society, how can we prohibit the expression of ideas? How can we forbid words? Where does the strange power of curses, epithets, and scatological terms come from? John and Ken avoid mincing words with Chris Hom from Texas Tech University, author of Hating and Necessity: The Semantics of Racial Epithets (forthcoming). This program was recorded live at the Marsh Theater in Berkeley, California.

Comments (1)


RepoMan05's picture

RepoMan05

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 -- 5:37 PM

There's no word that can't be

There's no word that can't be demeaning, cupcake.

See that?

Fking "cupcake" dude.....

If you ban enough words you........ ?

 
 

Christopher Hom, Professor of Philosophy, Texas Tech University

 
 

Bonus Content

 

Upcoming Shows

02 February 2020

Race Matters

Started in the wake of George Zimmerman's 2013 acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has become a powerful...

09 February 2020

A World Without Work

Work: a lot lot of people do it, and a lot of people don’t seem to like it very much. But as computers and artificial intelligence get increasingly...

16 February 2020

The Internet of Things

Smart TVs, refrigerators, cars, and houses—the internet of things refers to the networking of all the devices in our lives, as they gather data and...