July 6, 2015
Recently President Obama did an hour-long interview and mentioned the N-word when discussing race relations. There were many strong reactions to the president using the controversial word, and it stirred many conversations about the use of taboo language. Randall Eggert, assistant professor of linguistics at the U and author of “This Book is Taboo: An Introduction to Linguistics through Swearing,” is available to discuss why words that were once considered obscene have become more acceptable and other words that were once mainstream have become forbidden. Examples of such words are mostly racial and sexual slurs. As our acceptance of four-letter words grows, our acceptance of derogatory terms and slurs decreases. Eggert can also discuss how this changes in each generation, and as some four-letter words become more frequently used, the next generation will find new words to cause offense.
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