Words That Shall Not Be Said
Profanity used to be about someone swearing insincerely to God. Then the Reformation came along and made profanity about sex and the body.
Today, our most unspeakable words are are slurs against other groups at a time when Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and cancel culture are driving our cultural narrative.
This hour: the past, present, and future of profanity.
- John McWhorter - Author of Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter — Then, Now, and Forever and host of Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast
Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired May 13, 2021.