Chris Pauls wrote to point out that word aversion, "like pretty much every other subject, has found its way into Monty Python's Flying Circus".
Here's the sketch:
and a transcript is here.
I've certainly seen that sketch, but I guess it never occurred to me that the word-aversion part of it was any more true to life than the part of it about shooting caribou on the lawn or wiring up a fakir as a remote control.
[Update -- Jake Schneider writes:
In terms of your Python post, don't forget the much more famous example of Monty Python's playful approach to word aversion--The Knights of Nee's inability to stomach the word "it." Of course, in that example, the word involved is far to common to be remotely realistic.
How could I have forgotten? Here's the transcript:
Knight of Ni: Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest... Wiiiiiithh.... A HERRING! (minor music) Arthur: We shall do no such thing! Knight of Ni: Oh, please! Arthur: Cut down a tree with a herring? It can't be done! Knights of Ni: AAugh! AAAAAH! Oww!! (writhe in pain) Knight of Ni: Don't say that word! Arthur: What word? Knight of Ni: I cannot tell; suffice to say, it is one of the words the Knights of Ni cannot hear! Arthur: How we *not* say the word if you don't tell us what it is?! (Knights of Ni are in pain again) Knight of Ni: Ahhhh! 'E said it again! Arthur: What, "is"? Knight of Ni: No, not "is"! You wouldn't get very far in life not saying "is"! Bedevere: My liege! It's Sir Robin! Sir Robin and his minstrels "ride" up. Minstrels (singing): He's sacking it in, and packing it up, and sneaking away, and buggering up, And chickening out, and pissing a pole... Arthur: Sir Robin! Robin: My liege! It's good to see you! Knight of Ni: Now *'e* said the word! Arthur: Surely you've not given up the quest for the Holy Grail! Minstrels, by way of answering: He's sneaking away, and buggering up, Robin: Shut Up! No no, no, far from it! Knight of Ni: 'E said the word again! Robin: ...I was...looking for it... Knights of Ni: AAAAAAAuugh! Robin: uh, here--here in this...forest. Arthur: No, it is far from this place. Knight of Ni: Aaaaaaugh! Stop saying the word!!!! Arthur: (getting really annoyed with the Knights of Ni) OH, STOP IT!! Knight of Ni: Ow! He said it again! Arthur: Patsy! (motions all of his party to move on) Knight of Ni: Wait! I said it! I said it! Oh! I've said it again! And there again...that's three hits! Arthur, Bedevere, and Sir Robin ride off with the minstrels and Patsy.]
[And Keith Ivey reminds us that you're not supposed to say "mattress" to Mr. Lambert. ]Posted by Mark Liberman at August 20, 2007 11:42 AM