October 6, 2009

Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
Who comes to speak for the skin and bone?

Liu Bolin, Extreme Camouflage

-- for additional information and photos by Liu Bolin click here

* Bad words in the dictionary. excerpt:

"The 1960s actually marked the end of a long drought in the inclusion of sexual terms in dictionaries. The word fuck is first found in a dictionary in 1598, when it was one of five synonyms given to translate the Italian word fottere (the others were jape, sard, swive, and occupy). It is included in several other dictionaries throughout the 17th and 18th centuries (though not in that of Samuel Johnson, who made a conscious decision to keep out such material); Nathan Bailey's major Dictionarium Britannicum of 1730 included the odd note that it was 'a term used of a goat,' perhaps in an effort to make it seem less offensive. The last general dictionary to include the word was the 1775 New and Complete Dictionary of the English Language by Baptist preacher John Ash; the word is still found in the 1795 edition.

"But after that, thanks to the public prudishness that characterized the Victorian era and lasted well beyond it, it was to be 170 years before fuck was again put into a general dictionary: In 1965, the British Penguin English Dictionary included the term, and its entire treatment read, '(vulg) (of males) have sexual intercourse (with).'

"One major problem dictionary editors face in defining sexual terms is deciding how explicit to be. Defining coitus as 'an act of sexual intercourse' but leaving sexual intercourse undefined, for example (on the grounds that a reader could figure it out from the definitions of sexual and intercourse), would be a problem, not only because it makes the reader do too much page-flipping but also because the definitions probably still won't be sufficiently clear."
"These days, most dictionaries have broadened their treatment of sexual intercourse. They acknowledge that while the term usually refers to the penetration of the penis into the vagina, it can also be used to describe other genital contact, using expressions like 'genital contact,' 'penetration,' and the like to allow for the possibility of acts such as anal sex. But even these definitions are restricted, which is appropriate; oral sex, or masturbation, wouldn't normally be considered 'sexual intercourse.' The problem arises when these same dictionaries then define the word fuck (and other sexual terms) in relation to 'sexual intercourse,' because the word fuck is itself much broader than even these broadened definitions.

"Thus, you can't fuck someone in the ass with a dildo, according to the current edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary, and Webster's New World Dictionary. The whore in Portnoy's Complaint 'who fucks the curtain with her bare twat' can't do that, according to American Heritage, Webster's New World, Random House, or Encarta. Lesbians can't fuck each other at all, according to Webster's New World and Encarta (though if they use a strap-on, Encarta becomes OK with it). Fucking a woman's breasts is only possible according to Merriam-Webster. Finger-fucking and fist-fucking are impossible according to Webster's New World, Random House, and American Heritage; Merriam allows it, but only if it's vaginal and not anal. Only the OED, whose entry for the word I edited, defines fuck to encompass sexual acts beyond 'sexual intercourse.'"

* "Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired." -- Jules Renard


Blogger Damion009 said...


6:02 AM  

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