The Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television
Overuse of taboo words blunts their emotional edge
Words are easy, like the wind; faithful friends are hard to find, sings a happy Bard, in one of his poems. “My words are dull; O, quicken them with thine!” invites Queen Elizabeth, in King Richard III. “Words are words; I never yet did hear that the bruised heart was pierced through the ear,” wonders Brabantio, in Othello. Alas, most people don’t see it that way, writes Steven Pinker in The Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television.