The New Language Barrier

The New Language Barrier - English The Language Barrier...

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English 3-13-07 The Language Barrier Language is the most important aspect of our society; how we communicate with each other influences everything in our lives. There are so many aspects of language that interpreting them correctly is sometimes difficult. Wars, peace treaties, marriages, divorces, these are only a few examples of the results our words can bring us. Sometimes it is what we don’t say that can lead to those outcomes or worse. Nonetheless, what we intend to say is usually said one way or another. There are however, restrictions that are put on us and which are put on by ourselves. What is said on television varies from what we say in our daily lives which is often affected by established gender speech patterns. The complexity of what to say and when creates a very confusing and often contradicting society; what is all right for one person to say is not always tolerated when another person says it. There are many words that are not said openly in our society; whether it is out of polite conversation or FCC regulations, some words are left unsaid. On television there is certainly a restriction on words that can and can not be said. However, as time has gone by and as some words become more involved in our day to day language, the words that can be said on television have increased. During the early years of television, when America pushed for chastity, the words allowed and said on television and in real life seem silly and extremely old fashioned today. If we go back in time or switch to the TV Land station we can see how life once was. We can see a simple time where the Cleaver family was the typical 1950’s family structure, and “Gee-whiz”, “golly-gosh”, and
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“shucks” were the closest thing to obscenity. Early to mid 20 th century words look ridiculous, but they are still known and occasionally used by people today. “Shazam”, “schmooze”, “raunchy”, “butch”, “baloney” are a few examples of words that we know and occasionally use that come from that period in time. Contrast to today a variety of words can be heard on television although the most “obscene” are prohibited on cable network. What can be said depends on the show, the time it is aired and the channel. The channel FX is an example of a network that allows shows to use the mildest swear word, shit. An important detail is that the shows in which “swearing” is allowed the time in which they are aired are late at night when no child should be awake. Parents, a networks’ worst nightmare since there are so many, have a powerful influence over what is shown on T.V. So as long as they are not offended, disgusted, and distraught or have any other unhappy feeling that compels them to take action networks have almost complete freedom. Something that I find interesting is that Europe does not force these restrictions on
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course ENGL 110 taught by Professor Berenguel during the Spring '08 term at UConn.

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The New Language Barrier - English The Language Barrier...

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