Friday, June 15, 2012
A Word is Just a Word...
Or is it???
In light of my recent experiences with censorship it has come to my attention that our society really needs to re-think its priorities. Today I received a note from a friend saying that she had tried unsuccessfully to post review of one of my books on Amazon.com; she was writing to ask if I could figure out why they would not allow the post...
Here is the brief review...
“Fresh, unencumbered truth, naked feeling almost- a new look on relation-shifts in general.....the kind of book that gets you to a place where you want to move forward to deal with your anger, shadow, shit, stuck situations, re-think the life you do not want to live.... whatever you want to call it!! ...a much needed different perspective of things in our vastly changing time frame.”
What’s wrong with that you ask...
Well unfortunately for us both she happened to use a word that apparently is unacceptable to the pious and upright socially correct minds at Amazon. Yes my friends, I do believe that the word ‘SHIT’ falls into the category of profanity, which by the way is clearly outlined in the rules at Amazon as NOT being allowable content and I quote “We do not allow profane or obscene content. This applies to adult products too.”
Now I normally would not have caught this, except for the entertaining experience of just the other night having a word I typed into the chat room of our on-line radio show be censored by Blog Talk. I was talking ‘shit’ as I occasionally do when the topic at hand is an interesting one and I realized that the word ‘shit’ came out in the chat room as ***. Fascinating to say the least that they would have taken the time to set up a programme within their undoubtedly already complex programme (running a Blog Talk station with chat capabilities can’t be overly simple) to censor words as benign as the word ‘shit’.
Which leads me to wonder who is in charge of deciding what is and what is not profanity and how do we distinguish between words that ARE and ARE NOT acceptable? In my mind, twisted though to some it might be, the word ‘shit’ (albeit a crass definition) describes a natural human and non-human function (animals do it too) so why in the world would we deign to waste time with banning it from our language.
I got curious as I so often do and I looked it up... This is what our much esteemed and referenced Merriam Webster had to say about it...
Definition of SHIT
1 usually vulgar: feces
2 usually vulgar: an act of defecation
4 usually vulgar: any of several intoxicating or narcotic drugs; especially: heroin
5 usually vulgar: damn
6 usually vulgar: a worthless, offensive, or detestable person
7 usually vulgar a—used as an interjection b—used as an intensive usually with the
— shit·ty \ˈshi-tē\adjective,usually vulgar
Examples of SHIT
1. Don't give me that shit!
2. Why are you telling me this shit?
3. That movie was total shit.
4. There's always some shit going on.
Origin of SHIT
Middle English *shit, from Old English scite; akin to Old English -scītan to defecate
First Known Use: circa 1526
I had to wonder at the number of times they managed to use the word vulgar, but the truth of it is, regardless of the fact that they are quite clear on the fact that it is not the nicest of words they also happened to point on in the process of defining this particular word that it is quite commonly used in everyday language.
Oddly enough, at the bottom of the definition they asked...
What made you want to look up shit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
I didn’t bother to write in and tell them because quite frankly I can’t remember that far back.
Now I am not denying that there ARE several words that the English language could do without but I am thinking that ‘shit’ is not one of them.
What I want to know is when are words like ‘rape’, ‘bigotry’, ‘pedophilia’, ‘hate’, ‘racism’, ‘starvation’ and my all time favorite ‘war’ going to become just as unacceptable to our society. Those words are used everyday – those words are taught in our schools – talked about frequently – no daily - in mainstream media – those words we have become immune to – numb to... Those words that describe inhuman acts of depravity are words we ACCEPT as being a part of our world and our reality. Think about the use of those words, the damage, death and destruction they have caused millions of people over the years and consider this – WE ARE WASTING OUR TIME GIVING A SHIT ABOUT THE WRONG SHIT!!!
To sum it up... This kind of SHIT has to STOP...
(If you happen to agree with and support this overly ‘vulgar’ blog post then by all means pass it on, then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly give you a free promotional e-book version of the book that my friend was reviewing – which by the way, possibly contains the word ‘shit’ more than once (I can't remember) – but then I guess Amazon didn’t bother to read it before gladly accepting the chance to make money off it.)
Jean Victoria Norloch