Digital Audio World

Musings and information on podcasting, digital audio, online streaming audio and home studio recording from Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon of

Monday, June 13, 2005

Profanity in podcasting: What is its role?: Corante > Profanity in Podcasting > is an interesting discussion.

After reading a number of comments, I jumped in with this:

I'm all for free speech. I'm also all for not listening to stuff that either offends or annoys me. George Carlin's 'Seven Words' bit was classic, and dammit, funny. And it was an effective use of language and had redeeming social value. I know because even the US Supreme Court agreed with me.

Profanity doesn't offend me in and of itself. If the word is used in a way that works in the context I don't have a problem. If the speaker uses a lot of profanity because he's not smart enough to be more descriptive, that offends me. The use of profanity will not make up for stupidity and lack of verbalization skills. Seems to me that many people will use profanity because it seems to them to be the best way to get their point across. Sometimes is it, many times it is not.

I do a podcast about once a week, and over twenty or so episodes I think I've use a couple of so-called profane words maybe 4 or 5 times. It just came out of my mouth because at the time it seemed the most descriptive. And yes, in an unscripted setting, as most podcasts are, those words will come out. It's how people talk. It's real.

Much as I agree with Robert Heinlein's assessment that 'moderation is for monks,' profanity should be self-moderated by the person behind the microphone. It may be trite, but it's true that with freedom of speech comes the responsibility to use that freedom wisely."


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