Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The most offensive word in the world?

The following post contains language that may offend...

Did you know that if you enter the word "Jew" into Google, the first thing that comes up is a page called "Offensive Search Results" that apologises for the fact that "you may have seen results that were very disturbing"? As far as I can judge, "Jew" is the only word that causes this to appear: other taboo words, such as "nigger", "cunt", "motherfucker" and "Cheney" are allowed to pass without a warning. Even "yid", "kike" and "sheeny", all offensive words for Jews - ah, sorry, Jewish people - are OK.

I know anti-Semites tend to use "Jew" as a term of abuse, but isn't this a case of letting the bigots take over the language? A couple of BNP activists are currently on trial; the basis of the prosecution is that they were using the word "Muslim" as a coded reference to "brown people", thus contravening race relations legislation. So is "Muslim" taboo, or what? It doesn't get its own warning page.

Connotation vs denotation, as us lapsed Eng. Lit. students used to ponder. Or, as Jonathan Miller said, "I'm not a Jew - just Jew-ish."

1 comment:

Robert A. Swipe said...

Drella,

I love you. If you get the 8:14 to Skelmersdale, we could be Mr and Mrs Swipe by nightfall. I have commissioned Lou Reed and John Cale to write some songs in your honour for the wedding. OK, it's not the Smiths and the material's utter crap, but it's the thought that counts, huh?

So, whaddaya say??

(...what's that? She's already linked to the blog?? Dang it to high heaven!! What have I gone and talked myself into????)

Thanks for the link, D,

Love on ya,

Bob