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#121882 - 02/02/04 12:27 AM feculence
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
In a column written by Jeff Jacoby in today's (1 February 04) Boston Globe, he decries the use of bad words in the media. His column is posted at http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/02/01/the_slippery_slope_into_indecent_language/

In his conclusion he refers to "the feculence of modern life." I had never heard the word before, looked it up, see how he is using it somewhat analogically, and marvel.

#121883 - 02/02/04 06:07 AM Re: feculence
Capfka Offline

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
It has all the hallmarks of the results of a rummage through a thesaurus. None of the rest of his article hints at the use of such highflown terms for such a lowlife definition!

Well, f**k him, I say!

#121884 - 02/02/04 07:51 AM Re: feculence
TEd Remington Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
Fr Steve,

I agree that the author seems to have pulled feculence out a thesaurus, as it certainly is as jarring in the context as the language used elsewhere in the article.

But it's also true that perhaps we need to be jarred a little bit. I admit to the use of salty phrases, etc., but using them on the air is going beyond a line in the airwaves which a genteel society would neither venture nor permit others to venture.

I don't think that this is a "slippery slope to indecent language," as the headline on the article said. It is instead a precipitous descent toward a non-society tarred with the brushes of boorishness, incivility, crassness, crudity.



#121885 - 02/02/04 07:59 AM Re: feculence
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I am distressed by the feculence of the wide screen.

#121886 - 02/02/04 09:51 AM Re: feculence
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
in the very next line the phrase "separates the decent from the indecent" appears; at this point I too would have opened my thesaurus (or perphaps not ;) and replaced indecency -- isn't that what a thesaurus is for?!

#121887 - 02/02/04 07:44 PM ithyphallic
consuelo Offline
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Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
So, would you perhaps choose ithyphallic over indecent?

#121888 - 02/02/04 07:45 PM Re: feculence
Zed Offline

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I keep hearing that movie language has to be crude to be "realistic" but somehow it used to possible for a comic to be funny without being indecent and for a tough guy to be tough without four letter words. (although maybe that's why they were the strong silent type)

#121889 - 02/02/04 09:05 PM Re: ithyphallic
jheem Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1475
Loc: California
would you perhaps choose ithyphallic over indecent?

Since when are fishsticks indecent. What a minute, I'll come in again. Since when did ithyphallic become synonymous with indecent? In Greek, it's a religious word. Dionysius was a generative god.

#121890 - 02/03/04 06:11 AM Since at least 1913
consuelo Offline
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Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Definition: \Ith`y*phal"lic\, a. [L. ithyphallicus, fr.
ithyphallus, Gr. ?, membrum virile erectum, or a figure
thereof carried in the festivals of Bacchus.]
Lustful; lewd; salacious; indecent; obscene.

#121891 - 02/03/04 08:26 AM Re: one citation from 1864
jheem Offline

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1475
Loc: California
"An ithyphallic audacity that insults what is most sacred and decent among men." In the OED, besides the religious term and a poetical meter, this one citation is used for the gloss: grossly indecent, obscene. I argue that the meaning in the sentence above is the technical one, and the lexicographer has transferred his own repugnance into a new, spurious meaning. But I could be wrong.

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