March 18, 2008

Tackling the fleeting expletive

According to (for example) eFluxMedia, the US Supreme Court has said that in September it will hear arguments in the case of the so-called fleeting expletives. This weighty legal subject relates to the dispute between the Federal Communications Commission, which held in 2006 that isolated utterances of the word fuck as an interjection (as heard a couple of time during the Billboard Music Awards show) were "indecent" (who knew?), and a Federal appeals court in New York which ruled 2-1 that this might be unconstitutional. It is good to know that the nine Supreme Court justices will be giving their full attention to this interjection-dropping matter, which is clearly one of the most serious issues facing America. What the fuck would we do without them.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at March 18, 2008 04:48 PM