Thursday, April 29, 2004

American taxes at Work


And since we're on the subject of dirty language, the United States House of Representatives is currently studying a bill that would clarify the "seven specific words and phrases that should be legally deemed profane."

To wit:


H. R. 3687
To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 8, 2003
Mr. OSE (for himself and Mr. SMITH of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL
To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by inserting '(a)' before 'Whoever'; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

'(b) As used in this section, the term 'profane', used with respect to language, includes the words 'shit', 'piss', 'fuck', 'cunt', 'asshole', and the phrases 'cock sucker', 'mother fucker', and 'ass hole', compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms).'.



Barring the usual ironies involved in such a proposal, the-- other-- funny thing about this was Neil Gaiman's comment, that this "is the sort of bill that's by definition too dirty to be reported in newspapers or on TV or radio".

(Again, courtesy of Neil Gaiman.)


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