Seven dirty words

1960s: Days of Rage


“The seven dirty words are seven English-languagecurse words that American comedian George Carlin first listed in his 1972 ‘Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television’ monologue. … At the time, the words were considered highly inappropriate and unsuitable for broadcast on the public airwaves in the United States, whether radio or television. As such, they were avoided in scripted material and bleep censored in the rare cases in which they were used. Broadcast standards differ in different parts of the world, then and now, although most of the words on Carlin’s original list remain taboo on American broadcast television. The list was not an official enumeration of forbidden words, but rather were compiled by Carlin to flow better in a comedy routine. Nonetheless, a radio broadcast featuring these words led to a Supreme Court 5–4 decision in 1978 in FCC v. Pacifica Foundation that the…

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