Cursing has been top of mind this week and I’ve been thinking a bit about the differences between British and American sensibilities around bad language.
I had just read Threec’s entertaining blog post, “Is ‘bloody’ really a swear word?”, which successfully argues that Americans are just more buttoned-up about bad language than Brits. And then I read this amazing little Daily Beast report about yesterday’s House of Commons vote against military action in Syria:
“Embarrassed by his failure, [David] Cameron’s team lashed out at opponents of the intervention. A government source told The Times of London that Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, was ‘a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***’ for withdrawing support for military action.”
Whaaa? My first thought: Was this quote actually in the newspaper? Did The Times of London really spell out a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s*** without the asterisks? I love the color and candor of such a quote! I clicked on the link to the Times story, but sadly it requires a subscription to view in full.
However, it’s safe to say that I can’t see any reputable American newspaper ever publishing that anyone was a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***, with or without asterisks. Can you?