‘Fry’s Planet Word’ this week was about ‘bad’ language; why it is ‘bad’, what it’s function is in various societies, what cultures have in common in terms of taboo words, and – most interesting to me – whether their over-use dilutes their effectiveness. I have long suspected that this is so, and they did an experiment which seemed to confirm it: Stephen and the apparently notoriously foul-mouthed Brian Blessed
– BRIAN BLESSED!!!! –
took turns to plunge their hands into a bowl of ice. The first time they had to repeat an ordinary. non-emotive word such as ‘flat’ or ‘square’; the second time they had to repeat the word ‘fuck’. Stephen’s hand remained considerably longer in the ice under fucked conditions than under flat ones, whereas for Brian
– BRIAN!!! –
it was actually worse when fucked than when squared.
So there you go.
A very interesting programme covering a variety of cultures and not only swearing but also words which dinosaurs such as the Academie Francaise try to ban, such as le weekend, le sport, le mobile etc – though nobody else takes a blind bit of notice. They also went to the Gaeltachte (I may have spelled that wrong) a part of Ireland where Irish is still the first language, and which we visited when Holly was little.
Watch it. Watch it now:
Slept right through last night. Clearly the solution is to sweat a lot under a winter duvet so that I don’t need to pee. I woke up and it was rather dull: ‘Ugh’ I thought. ‘Wonder what time it is?’ And lo! It was 7 a m!!!
Today I shall be mostly… writing on this computer and taking the laptop to have its charger investigated.