The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'obscenity'
A BBC radio presenter made an unfortunate mispronounciation of the name of the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, swapping the first consonant of his surname with that of the word 'culture'. The somewhat ironically named James Naughtie fell foul of the Spoonerism on Radio 4's Today programme when interviewing Hunt about the government's broadband plans. Mr. Hunt seemed to take it in good stride:
Mr Hunt tweeted: "They say prepare for anything before going on Today but that took the biscuit. I was laughing as much as u Jim."I wonder if "jeremy" will become a new piece of rhyming slang, replacing "berk" (from "Berkshire hunt").
Gropecunt Lane (pronounced /ˈɡroʊpkʌnt ˈleɪn/) was a street name found in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages, believed to be a reference to the prostitution centred on those areas; it was normal practice for a medieval street name to reflect the street's function or the economic activity taking place within it. Gropecunt, the earliest known use of which is in about 1230, appears to have been derived as a compound of the words "grope" and "cunt". Streets with that name were often in the busiest parts of medieval towns and cities, and at least one appears to have been an important thoroughfare.
Although the name was once common throughout England, changes in attitude resulted in it being replaced by more innocuous versions such as Grape Lane. Gropecunt was last recorded as a street name in 1561.There are currently no streets named Gropecunt Lane in England, them all having been renamed to things like Magpie Lane, Grape Lane, or in some cases, Grope Lane (attributed by the prudish to the narrowness and darkness of the street, not to any untoward activity having taken place there). Perhaps the time has come for a campaign to undo these shameful acts of vandalism and restore this piece of English history?
(via David Gerard)
A chance to watch language changing in real time: the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has offered to replace all licence plates containing the letters "WTF" free of charge, after the letters became obscene following the rise of internet/text-messaging abbreviations. Nearly 10,000 licence plate holders have the three letters in their plates, though whether they wish to replace them will be up to them. I wonder how many will take up the offer.
The Merseyside village of Lunt is considering changing its name to Launt, because of vandals who keep altering signs in the village, changing the 'L' to a 'C'. The village (records of which date back to 1251) has never been referred to as "Launt", and some villagers are loth to change its ancient name.
Alternately, they could twin the village with the Austrian village of Fucking (whose own villagers voted in 2004 against changing its name).
There are red faces in Staffordshire after a dining couple received a restaurant bill containing an obscenity. The computer-printed bill from Joe Delucci's restaurant in Lichfield contained, among its items, one reading "SUCK MY D___ F___ FACE", or something similar to these words, billed at £0.00.
The restaurant's owner apologised and explained that the message should only have been seen only by the kitchen staff, and should have never ended up as an item on the bill. In what context said message should have been seen by the kitchen staff has not been explained.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has revoked an elderly woman's custom license plates because they had become obscene. Pat Niple had had the number plates reading "NWTF" (standing for "Northwood Tree Farm", a business she had owned) for more than a decade, and had had no problems with them—until this year, when they fell foul of technologically-mediated language change:
"Apparently, the young people use it on the computer," she said.
Niple went to a BMV office to get some answers. A clerk had to whisper what the acronym means to some people.
"Now what the -- and the last word begins with an f," Niple said. "I said, 'You got to be kidding me.'"