7 Dirty Words You Can Sometimes Read on Blogs
In response to an ongoing controversy about the use of vulgar language on blogs, InstaPunk issued a challenge which NewsBuckit‘s Patrick Ishmael took up: search the top blogs on each side of the aisle for instances of George Carlin’s infamous “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” The results:
Steven Taylor notes some methodological concerns about the process which are well taken. Nonetheless, in the spirit of the day, he applies the test to his own site, PoliBlog, and finds 45 instances. In his defense, he notes that “all 45 are from comments left by readers (and a couple look like they are trackback spam that slipped through the cracks).”
Mine are almost all trackbacks or comments as well. The rest are either references to the government funding of “Piss Christ,” a quote of former Sen. Conrad Burns (which helped him become a former Senator, so that’ll teach him) and a couple of “Pulp Fiction” quotes used to illustrate a point.
I have been known to use the occasional profanity in my offline life, which is probably the reverse of most people, who seem to feel unburdened by the freedom of the Internet. I made a decision, though, in the early days of the blog to refrain from stronger-than-PG language unless there was a compelling reason. Partly, that was out of respect for the fact that a right-leaning blog will draw a fair number of religiously devout readers who find such words offensive.
Mostly, though, it was a recognition that the site host sets the tone of his comments section. OTB’s comments section is generally much more civil than those of most blogs with similar traffic levels. I like to think the content of the posts themselves are part of the reason.