Sunday, March 1, 2009

No Cussing in L.A.

$#$%##! LA County tries for cuss-free week

LOS ANGELES -- Pay no attention to that eerie silence in the nation's most populous county this week; it will simply be the sound of 10 million people not cussing.

At least that's the result McKay Hatch is hoping for once his campaign to clear the air is recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

On Tuesday, the board is scheduled to issue a proclamation by Supervisor Michael Antonovich making the first week in March No Cussing Week.

That would mean no blue language from the Mojave desert, where it gets hot as $&# in the summer, to the Pacific Ocean, where on a winter's day it can get colder and nastier than %$#!

Not that 15-year-old Hatch expects complete compliance. When his No Cussing Club meets at South Pasadena High School on Wednesdays it's not unusual for a nonmember to throw open the door and fire off a torrent of four-letter words. He's also been the target of organized harassment by pro-cussers.

And Antonovich's county motion carries no penalties.

"But it's a good reminder for all of us, not just young people but everybody, to be respectful to one another and watch the words we use," said the supervisor's spokesman, Tony Bell.

The county isn't the first entity to try to put the lid on swearing. Hatch's hometown of South Pasadena declared itself a cuss-free zone for a week last March, and two years ago a high school in Canada threatened to suspend repeat cussers.

Hatch has lofty goals.

"Next year I want to try to get California to have a cuss-free week. And then, who knows, maybe worldwide," said the 10th grader, who believes if people treat each other with more civility they can better work together to solve bigger problems.

He said his campaign began to form about the time he hit seventh grade when he noticed his friends beginning to swear, something his family didn't allow.

He formed the No Cussing Club and invited others to join. Soon the group had a Web site, bright orange T-shirts, a hip hop theme song and inquiries from all over from people interested in joining. He estimates 20,000 people have formed similar clubs.

"It's not about forcing anyone to stop, just to bring awareness," he says of the movement. "If you can do a week without cussing, maybe you can do two weeks. And then maybe a month."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Swearing in the Sopranos: 27 Minutes!

From the Las Vegas Weekly:

In an act of seemingly pointless but ultimately revelatory genius, Victor Solomon, a movie director from San Francisco, has meticulously mined all 86 episodes of The Sopranos and compiled a montage of nearly 5,000 curse words screamed, spat and muttered on the show. No wonder nobody has time simply to watch TV anymore. (Read more)

The entire montage of curses takes 27 minutes. Enjoy the show!

the sopranos, uncensored. from victor solomon on Vimeo.

In News That Does Not Surprise Us One Bit

The Hartford Courant reports that inmates sometimes bring their potty-mouths to school visits:

WATERBURY: Inmates Allegedly Used Profanity In School Visit
February 25, 2009
Waterbury officials are reviewing a program involving inmates who speak to public school students after complaints about the use of foul language.

City officials say some inmates allegedly used foul language in front of Wallace Middle School students two weeks ago.

Prison inmates are occasionally brought to city schools as part of the police department's Project Safe Neighborhoods program.

The program has police officers, medical experts and inmates speak with children about gangs, peer pressure, drugs and other problems.

A woman complained that her child and grandchild had heard foul and racially charged language from prisoners.

ZOMG! What if they also had tattoos and angry eyebrows? Will the children survive? All the teachers really had to do was keep those inmates in from recess. That would show the kids that swearing's bad stuff.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Every Curse Uttered on "The Sopranos"

If you were to listen to them all, it would take twenty-seven minutes of your life.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Real-Time Curse Tracking

What are all the dirty birds tweeting about?

You can find out here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Don't Lift a Finger

Not if it's *that* one, anyway...

Middle finger gesture results in arrest

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- A Portsmouth, N.H., man has been jailed on a felony charge of violating a protective order after he allegedly showed his middle finger to the person who filed it. The two were dining separately at a restaurant on Jan. 24 when police said a 42-year-old man made the gesture.

A police affidavit said the man eventually left "with some assistance from restaurant staff."

Police Sgt. Kuffer Kaltenborn said violation of protective order charges can be brought as felonies when the allegations are second offenses. However, he said, the city prosecution office is expected to dismiss the felony against the man on Monday, leaving a misdemeanor count of stalking.

We just have to comment on the name "Kuffer." Anyone with a little imagination can make a hilarious-sounding anagram that would no doubt cause the fine officer to slap the kuffs on.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Book Banned for Profanity

Must be strange for Laura Bush to be on the liberal side of a controversy...

In rural Newman, profanity gets a book banned

By Seema Mehta

February 4, 2009

A Stanislaus County school board banned a celebrated but controversial piece of Chicano literature from its high school classrooms this week because trustees and the superintendent believe “Bless Me, Ultima” contains too much profanity.

The Newman Crows Landing Board of Education voted 4 to 1 Monday night to strip the coming-of-age novel by Rudolfo Anaya from the sophomore required reading list at Orestimba High School. The district review of the book was prompted by a parent’s complaint last year that it was “anti-Catholic” and sexually explicit.

But Supt. Rick Fauss said he had grown concerned by the amount of cursing in the 1972 novel that was spotlighted on former First Lady Laura Bush’s must-read list and is also the literature selection for this year’s state high school Academic Decathlon competition.

“There was excessive vulgarity or profanity used throughout the book,” said Fauss, head of the nearly 2,700-student Newman Crows Landing Unified School District. “The context didn’t . . . make it acceptable.”

English teachers, some parents, the ACLU and the author were outraged. “What are these people afraid of?” asked Anaya, 71. “We have ample evidence throughout history of what happens when we start banning books, when we are afraid of ideas and discussion and analytical thinking. The society will suffer.”

“Bless Me, Ultima” tells the tale of a young boy, Antonio, growing up in 1940s New Mexico and his relationship with a curandera (folk healer) named Ultima. Antonio tries to meet the disparate expectations of his parents and reconcile his Roman Catholic faith with Native American mysticism.

The book has been removed from classrooms across the nation, including in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and elsewhere in California (the Laton Joint Unified School District in Fresno County in 1999), and was No. 75 on the American Library Assn.’s list of top banned books in the 1990s.

But it is also a critically acclaimed piece of literature, is required reading in many English courses (including in some L.A. Unified schools) and is enjoying renewed popularity: It was chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of its “Big Read” program, in which various communities read the same book at the same time.

In California, the Department of Education recommends the novel for grades nine through 12, but cautions: “This book was published for an adult readership and thus contains mature content. Before handing the text to a child, educators and parents should read the book and know the child.”

In rural Newman, about 25 miles south of Modesto, “Bless Me, Ultima” has been part of the sophomore curriculum at the district’s only traditional high school for more than a decade, said Catherine Quittmeyer, chairwoman of Orestimba High School’s English department. Four or five years ago, teachers decided to move it to the summer reading list for honors students and to keep it part of the classroom curriculum for other sophomores.

Now, the novel will remain in the library but will no longer be required reading.

Teachers said the book helped them connect with their Latino students, who make up two-thirds of the district.

“Those kids came alive” when they read the book, Quittmeyer said. “It wasn’t a book by a dead white male. They understood the words, they understood the culture, they would be the ones we would turn to as experts. They felt so empowered by this book.”

Senior Brittney Clark, 17, said the book has value for all teenagers.

“You can relate to the kid because he’s trying to figure out what he should do with his life without upsetting his parents,” said Brittney, the daughter of a teacher.

The controversy began last summer when Nancy Corgiat, the mother of a sophomore, complained about the book to the superintendent.

“She initially complained about the vulgar language, the sexually explicit scenes and an anti-Catholic bias,” Fauss said.

Corgiat, who declined to comment this week, reportedly told board members in January that the book’s themes “undermine the conservative family values in our homes.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Christian Bale Has a Pottymouth

The director of photography for walked on the set while Bale was working last summer, and apparently, audiotape was rolling when an angry Bale dropped a shock-and-awe campaign of F-bombs.

Here's what MSNBC says:

Last summer, a report surfaced that days before he was arrested on allegations of assault in London while promoting “The Dark Knight,” Christian Bale had lashed out verbally against a crew member on the set of “Terminator Salvation.”

And Monday, a new tape from the July 2008 incident has emerged, featuring the actor screaming, shouting and using profanity at “Terminator Salvation” director of photography, Shane Hurlbut.

In the tape, posted on TMZ, Bale was recorded as he ranted at Hurlbut, after the DP walked on to the set as the actor was filming a scene with co-star Bryce Dallas Howard.

“I want you off the f---ing set, you pr----,” Bale says at the start of the audio recording, which TMZ reported was sent by the film’s executives to their insurance company in case the actor didn’t finish filming the movie.

“I’m sorry,” Hurlbut replies.

“No, don’t just be sorry. Think for one f---king second,” Bale shouts. “What the f-- are you doing? Are you a professional or not?”

Bale grows angrier as Hurlbut replies to him in a calm tone, “Yes, I am.”

“No, no. Am I gonna f---ing rip your lights down in the middle of the scene? Then why the f---are you walking right through, ‘Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh,’ in the background,” the man said to be Bale, sing-songs. “What the f--- is it with you? What the f--- don’t you understand?”

Read more:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rhymes with Truck

Wow. This is not a man we'd like to hang out with, although he's making good use of his First Amendment rights.

Cops drop charge in truck profanity
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 7:03 AM EST

PITTSTON — Police withdrew charges against a Luzerne County man who was cited for having an obscene word on his truck.

Joseph Decker of Hughestown can keep a sign, which reads “If you’re in America and can’t speak English, get the (expletive) out,” on his truck because he altered the four-letter expletive by replacing the middle letters with symbols.

On Nov. 11, Hughestown police filed a disorderly conduct charge against Mr. Decker for displaying a profane word on his vehicle.

At Monday’s summary trial before Magisterial District Judge Fred Pierantoni III, Police Chief Stephen Golya agreed to withdraw the charge.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Regrets, He's Had a Few

Illinois Governor Rod Blagejovich wishes he hadn't cursed when the Federal wiretap tapes were rolling:

"I apologize for some of the profanity, but if I would have known they were listening, I wouldn't have used those words."

No Cussing Club: 30,000 Members


Watch your mouth
January 23, 2009 - 2:44PM
VICTORVILLE • Trying to raise a G-rated family in an R-rated world is not an easy task, said the 15-year-old founder of a club that encourages people not to cuss.

Profanity is everywhere — on TV, in movies and easily heard on most middle and high school campuses, said McKay Hatch, a sophomore at South Pasadena High School. So he is doing something about what he feels is a huge problem: kids cussing.

McKay visited Sixth Street Prep School in Victorville on Friday morning, presenting his message to about 200 kids from kindergarten to sixth grade. It is an entertaining and engaging multimedia program of his own music videos, slides and props, and he brings kids up on stage to participate in the program that goes beyond no cussing.

Hatch founded the No Cussing Club almost two years ago at his middle school and it has grown to 30,000 members worldwide.

“This whole club is more than just about don’t cuss, it’s a lot bigger. It’s about being clean all around — no drugs, no bullying, no violence. The whole idea of this club is just to be nice to people,” Hatch said.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people trying to sabotage McKay’s message and have sent hate e-mails and threats to his Web site, The site is locked down and the FBI and the Pasadena police are investigating, said Brent Hatch, McKay’s father.

“So far we have had 60,000 e-mail threats and profanity filled e-mails since Jan. 4 of this year, and what these people are saying: Let’s attack this kid because what he is doing is stupid,” Brent Hatch said.

McKay is unnerved by the threats and says the more that detractors attack him on the Web or on blogs, the more popular he becomes among the people who follow his example and the more the media seeks him out as a guest. He has been on the “Tonight Show,” “Dr. Phil,” “Good Morning America” and a few dozen other programs talking about positive attitudes for kids.

In fact, a crew from “Inside Edition” was at the Sixth Street Prep School taping McKay’s presentation for airing at a later date.

“You don’t have to be an adult to make a difference. You can make a difference at any age,” McKay said.

To learn more about the No Cussing Club and to read reactions from students and staff at Sixth Street Prep School, read Sunday's edition of the Daily Press.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Towns with Unfortunate Names

The New York Times had a terrific piece this morning about English towns with giggle-provoking names:

January 23, 2009
No Snickering: That Road Sign Means Something Else

CRAPSTONE, England — When ordering things by telephone, Stewart Pearce tends to take a proactive approach to the inevitable question “What is your address?”

He lays it out straight, so there is no room for unpleasant confusion. “I say, ‘It’s spelled “crap,” as in crap,’ ” said Mr. Pearce, 61, who has lived in Crapstone, a one-shop country village in Devon, for decades.

Disappointingly, Mr. Pearce has so far been unable to parlay such delicate encounters into material gain, as a neighbor once did.

“Crapstone,” the neighbor said forthrightly, Mr. Pearce related, whereupon the person on the other end of the telephone repeated it to his co-workers and burst out laughing. “They said, ‘Oh, we thought it didn’t really exist,’ ” Mr. Pearce said, “and then they gave him a free something.”

In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly if the word “bottom” is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent, doubly cursed because “prat” is slang for buffoon.

As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.

“It’s pronounced ‘PENNIS-tun,’ ” Fiona Moran, manager of the Old Vicarage Hotel in Penistone, said over the telephone, rather sharply. When forced to spell her address for outsiders, she uses misdirection, separating the tricky section into two blameless parts: “p-e-n” — pause — “i-s-t-o-n-e.”


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Well, Then!

The erotic letters of James Joyce. Note: they're graphic--sort of like phone sex without the phones. "Frig" makes an appearance, meaning just what you think it means. Could that be one of the earliest written references? We will have to find out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lip Service: Obscenity?

Mayor denies kissing ban, invites all to pucker up
MEXICO CITY -- When you come to Guanajuato, pucker up. Mayor Eduardo Romero is declaring the colonial city in central Mexico "the kissing capital" of the world to disprove, once and for all, claims that he has banned smooching in public.

The flap arose over an anti-obscenity law that many people believed would fine anyone caught kissing in public. The government denied it intended to ban kissing, but agreed to suspend the legislation so its wording could be reviewed.

Romero unveiled advertisements Tuesday featuring a couple locking lips on one of Guanajuato's many winding, cobble-stoned streets. They read: "Guanajuato, the kissing capital."

A local legend of forbidden love gives the city claim to the title.

It tells of a young woman whose father prohibited her from seeing her lover because he was too poor. But the couple lived across from each other in a street so narrow they could lean out their windows to kiss in secret.

That street remains known as the "kissing alley."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Well, It *Could* Come in Handy

tittery-whoppet: n., archaic euphemism for vagina.

Source: Depraved and Insulting English, by Peter Novobatzky and Ammon Shea

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Law Proposed to

Gamasutra, an industry site for video-game companies, reports this:

A New York assemblyman submitted a new legislative proposal aiming to prohibit the sale of video games containing negative racial stereotypes and/or actions toward a specific group of persons to minors.

The measure was proposed in the New York Assembly and referred to the Assembly's Consumer Protection and Affairs Committee.

If passed, it would prevent children under the age of 18 from purchasing video games with a rating that "reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes, or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons."

The proposed bill would also requires retailers or rental outlets to ask for identification from customers attempting to buy or rent video games with a "mature" or "violent" rating. A bill similar in this aspect that would have imposed fines on violators became law in California and was later ruled unconstitutional in 2007 -- opening the door for the Entertainment Software Association to ultimately collect $280,000 in legal fees from the state.

Manhattan Democrat Keith L.T. Wright, who submitted the proposal, previously put forward a similar bill in 2007 that failed to pass, according to a report from political gaming weblog GamePolitics.

According to the measure, "Video games containing purely adult images, situations, and scenarios are far too readily available to children who often purchase these games without any resistance from sellers. ... The bill would take a step towards preventing our children from being influenced by the glamorization of violence portrayed in such video games."

Superintendent Pulls Book Because of Profanity

Because high school students never encounter profanity in their daily lives...

NEWMAN, CA--School board members Monday evening took up the discussion of whether the novel “Bless Me, Ultima” should be reinstated to the Orestimba High curriculum, but the controversial issue remains unresolved.

Instead, after a motion to uphold the current ban on the book failed to pass, the board suspended further discussion until a Jan 24. workshop.

The book ban has been a controversial subject of debate since Superintendent Rick Fauss pulled the book from the OHS curriculum in mid-October, following a parental complaint which led to reviews of the book by two committees. He cited explicit situations and profanity as the basis for the decision.

... “Context does not always justify the end. Sometimes profanity is just profanity,” he told Mattos Newspapers. “I think we can find a book that meets the same criteria and has no profanity.”


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Woman Fined for Swearing in Church

Woman slapped with fine for cursing in Romanian church

BUCHAREST, Romanian — A woman who upset worshippers by swearing during a church service in Romania has been fined $126, about one-third of the average monthly salary in her country.

Police spokeswoman Bianca Albu said officers were called by priests and a candle seller to the service Monday afternoon at the Ascension Church in the city of Botosani to take action against the unruly worshipper.

Albu said the 50-year-old woman was cursing and insulting worshippers at the Orthodox church in northeastern Romania.

The spokeswoman declined to repeat the woman's words, saying only that she was fined by police on the spot for disturbing the public order in a special place by using unholy language.

Little more was known about the woman, including her motive.

Her motive? We're guessing it was a really long sermon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We Like Pina Coladas and Walks in the Rain

Britney Spears is stirring things up for radio stations with her new song, "If You Seek Amy."

Turns out, it's not actually about looking for someone named Amy. Read the song title aloud. (We'll wait for you...)

Done? Yes. It sounds like she's spelling the F-word. The chorus itself is a masterwork of subtlety only seen previously in such places as behind the shed on an elementary school playground.

"But all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy."

It's obviously not the first time someone has slipped a little profanity into a song, or even the first time it's been spelled out--remember Van Halen's "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge"? Good times.

MTV News has a bit more on the subject.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

South Carolina Tries to Set Up Giant Curse Jar

The South Carolina Senate is working on something called Bill 56, which would earn you up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine for the following:

It is unlawful for a person in a public forum or place of public accommodation wilfully and knowingly to publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.

It is unlawful for a person to disseminate profanity to a minor if he wilfully and knowingly publishes orally or in writing, exhibits, or otherwise makes available material containing words, language, or actions of profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature.

First, willfully has four Ls in it. Second, who's the judge of "lewd, lascivious, or indecent"? Would "The Higher Power of Lucky" get teachers arrested because it contains the word "scrotum"? What about "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," which was banned by a school in Oregon for being filthy (it won a National Book Award, so obviously not everyone shares this view).

There are fart jokes in Chaucer and Shakespeare. High school readers across South Carolina might rejoice to see those texts banned.

FUCS might need to distribute literature in South Carolina. If swearing gets outlawed there, they'll need some substitutes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome to the FUCS!

The Friends of Unusual Curse Substitutes is delighted with your company. Please stay tuned for more posts in the coming weeks.