Friday, March 02, 2007

The... Er... Stuff Hits the Fan

So Instapunk suggested, and Newsbuckit delivered a study of the relative frequency of George Carlin's famous "seven dirty words" within the context of the most popular blogs on both the Right and the Left, using Google as a standard to search for all occurences of the words. Lo and behold, the initial estimate was on the order of 18-1 for word occurences (later being increased to 41-1 based on the inclusion of some prominent but overlooked sites on both sides of the aisle), with the Lefties winning the day with flying colors. This should not come as a shock to anyone.

Anywho, the initial report by Newsbuckit was posted on Fark, so I perused the comment thread there to get a feel for people's reaction. Needless to say, the obviously liberal commenters got (surprise, surprise!) angry at the audacity of someone who would dare even do such research. Anger quickly turned to denial -- lots of attacking the messenger and claiming that only liberal blogs allow unmoderated comments and that the methods were completely and hopelessly flawed (the methods were crude, yes, but with a margin of 18-1 or 41-1, the larger point is indisputable). Then sprang forth anger again, as is the wont of that crowd, this time taking the form of ad hominem attacks on both the researcher, the guy (Instapunk) who suggested the research, and all the "oppresive puritan Rethuglicans" who take the time to clean up their speech a bit. While the anger didn't actually subside, a strange form of acceptance finally did come forth, in the form of "We f***ing cuss a whole g** d*** m*****f***ing lot, you f***ing c*** a**h***s -- so f***ing what?"

When I was a junior in highschool (a Catholic, all-boys highschool), Father Lawrence Frederick, a.k.a. "Father Fred", taught a very interesting segment during our religion period (we had a new religion instructor each quarter). Father Fred, a former design engineer for Nasa (he designed the seats on the Mercury space capsule, and as my highschool physics teacher, was my inspiration for becoming and engineer), was a soft-spoken, but nevertheless imposing figure. There was a famous singular moment during his particular religion class (word of which got around, so we knew to expect it) in which he was known to utter the most profane string of obscenities you could construct -- highly out of character for him. Of course, there was a point to this -- virtually all those words were "perfectly normal, anglo-saxon words for things in the English language". However, because our language is not strictly barbaric in its origins, we have other words for things, most of which originate from the more erudite languages of Latin and Greek. Thus, if one wants to show some shred of that erudition, indicating that one has the patience to learn the more difficult Latinate words in place of the simple, and socially frowned-upon alternatives, one chooses to use those words instead. And this is the point largely lost by the foul-mouthed Left.

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Anonymous Marty said...

Poopies! it looked like you scooped Mazurland on this story, mostly because Chris delayed his post on the topic a few hours to let my post of last night have some time "above the fold".

By the way, it's not just the Greeks and Latins who taught us to speak nicely about dirty topics. I've been reading Ezekiel. I take it on faith that the English translation reflects the Hebrew sense, so that I assume it is not covering up Hebrew gutter language. But Ezekiel "issues" some strong words (that God Himself told him to speak) regarding the meretricious behavior of Jerusalem and Samaria in the allegory of the two daughters. There, in Ezekiel 23:20, he says: "For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses." This is King James, a rather tame rendering. More modern translations are a little more transparent, though not crudely so, and explanatory notes make it clear that Ezekiel was saying that the two daughters were lusting after suitors who were hung like donkeys and come like horses.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Dang, Marty! You keep that Hebrew filth outta my clean little blog!

Heehee... yeah, I just read through ol' Zeke a couple months ago and was quite surprised by that. And yes, the NASB is a little clearer, but not by much.

And I must confess: my post originated as a comment on the aforementioned Mazurland post, which got kinda long, so I decided to cut n' paste it as a post on my own blog, what with only TWO posts in the last month. I didn't give the hat-tip to you guys because I had actually already read the article myself yesterday evening, and forgot whose blog I had found the link upon.

So you guys DID scoop me, if by a matter of minutes.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Marty said...

Ah! I keep forgetting that your time tag is off by several hours (because you're still on Seattle time?) So we got it first. I think LGF had it yesterday...

3:05 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

There, fixed! Actually, I never noticed I was off -- this blog started well after my tenure in Seattle. Must be the default setting on blogger or something.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Great analysis of the whole thing, Ben. Especially the way the lefties, who are now faced with a "fact", have to make it jive with their reality.

I gotta go to fark and read some of those comments...

3:34 PM  

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