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Alex Champlin Practicum 4

Page history last edited by champlin.alexander@... 9 years, 7 months ago

Sorry that this is a bit irreverent.


I started with Bookworm: Movies and quickly found a upswing in the frequency at which the 7 dirty words you cant say on TV appeared in the Films categorized beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Here is that graph. 


Although it's not in the list of seven, here is the graph for "bullshit," it takes a similar swing. Arnold explains here.




For film history this is interesting. The swing coincides with the move away from the Hayes Code and to the voluntary MPAA rating system (the basis for the film rating system in place today). See the Wikipedia Entry for MPAA Ratings for some discussion for these changes.  We might be content to attribute the change to this but this is where things get fraught, especially for "bullshit."


The word is relatively new, apparently appearing in American slang only at the start of the 20th century. Moreover, the MPAA explanation fails to account for the nearly identical curve produced in a search of the term through the Google Books Ngram Viewer (see the chart below). All of this is a bit inconclusive, and seems to point to a need for a bit more context. I'm certainly able to identify a trend and posit potential explanations but in this case there is a lot that bears further consideration. Perhaps its Carlin that instantiates this change, with his monologue 1972? (it fits the graph)





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