Tannen-Freedom to Talk Dirty_TIME

Tannen-Freedom to Talk Dirty_TIME - Freedom to Talk Dirty -...

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11/8/09 7:46 AM Freedom to Talk Dirty -- Printout -- TIME Page 1 of 3 http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,990261,00.html Back to Article Click to Print Monday, Feb. 22, 1999 Freedom to Talk Dirty By Deborah Tannen You might think that if I got into a taxi and the driver began making graphic references to sex acts, I'd jump out at the first stoplight. But when it happened to me earlier this year, I wasn't even alarmed. For one thing, the driver was a woman. For another, the sexual references were parts of jokes she was telling about current events. And lately, I had heard jokes like them in plenty of private conversations--even from my own mother. The scandal that is now mercifully over has helped introduce a new explicitness into our conversations. But the Lewinsky matter is only the latest in a series of episodes that have made graphic sex talk more common. The onset of the AIDS epidemic brought the clinical-sounding phrase anal sex into our homes, and the Clarence Thomas hearings gave the imprimatur of the U.S. Senate to dirty talk that would make us wince in mixed conversations. The rape trials of William Kennedy Smith and Mike Tyson accelerated the trend toward frank sex talk, and the rise of Viagra brought to mind graphic images--featuring Bob Dole. Granted, in the Clinton scandal, 13 months of saturation coverage and prurient detail have conspired to make this episode especially troubling. Yet its enduring legacy may simply be the adding of the term oral sex and its vernacular synonym to the list of once avoided phrases that are now used openly--the continuation of a trend that was well under
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2010 for the course ENGL 305 taught by Professor Sawiki during the Fall '09 term at CSU Fullerton.

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Tannen-Freedom to Talk Dirty_TIME - Freedom to Talk Dirty -...

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