The following contains a very strong and taboo word.
It is a word that by its nature may cause offence.
If the word in question does cause offence – please feel free to fuck off now.
The daily mail (yes them) have run a story on their website of an instance where somebody DIDNT swear on the radio.
It’s the sort of news headline you would expect to read on any of the millions of spoof news sites across the web, but this article was actually written in all seriousness.
The word in question is the word cunt.
It is a word we are all familiar with, some of will use the word on occasion where we feel it is required, some of us will absolutely hate the word in all its forms and others will articulate this quintessential English profanity to its full potential and attempt to use the word as punctuation.
Cunt is the new fuck.
I for one reserve the word cunt for times when fuck won’t do. It’s a word that evoke pure emotion, be it an emotion of hatred or rage. Wither way it has never and cannot ever be used in a flattering way.
Cunt is word that sparked a single complaint to the BBC (that’s not what the C stands for by the way) by a Mr Colin Harrow back in December 2010 in response to the following joke made on the news quiz by host Sandi Toksvig (that short woman from Number 73 – for those of us old enough to remember her).
The joke was as thus:
'It's the Tories who have put the 'n' into cuts.'
In itself, not the most heinous of witticisms that could have been said. Nor indeed is this the worst joke that has ever been uttered on radio 4, or any part of the Beeb.
But Mr Harrow took it upon himself to be the only person in the whole country to take the time to sit down and be offended at this joke.
He actually sat there, listening to the show, worked out the simple wordplay and decided to become offended by it.
The BBC in its wisdom wrote back to Mr Harrow and informed him that his complaint would not be upheld stating that is was in fact a funny joke.
Mr Harrow decided to take things further. Bravely risking the ridicule of sane people, he wrote to the BBC trust and again complained.
The BBC trust did not uphold his complaint.
And so the good old Daily mail has got involved.
But let us take a step back (as Mr Harrow probably should have done) and look at what has transpired.
Somebody made what is known as an innuendo.
An innuendo being a joke that on the surface is not offensive but is understood by reading between the lines to be rude. It is only from the understanding and prior knowledge of the listener that the joke becomes funny. In effect the listener is the one making the joke.
By sandi Tosvik saying “putting the ‘n’ into cuts” could be seen as a simple error in spelling. She is after all a lesbian. . And Danish.
However – Mr Harrow just like the rest of radio 4 listeners (myself included) are fully aware of what a swear word is and what each one of them means and how to use them. Therefore we made the joke complete in our own minds. Or rather Mr Colin Harrow did.
These facts being the case, I would like to take this opportunity to clearly state my absolute outrage that a singular person listening to the radio has not only been allowed to think freely for themselves in a light humoured manner in the company of themselves and a pre-paid for public broadcast of comedic enterprise, but has by themselves – created an environment for such a strong word to be thought of in private without fear of harming anybody sensitive enough to spontaneously combust at a whim, by themselves due to their prior knowledge of such a word. It is horrific to believe that people are allowed to think internally within themselves such words that would cause grievous harm to others if they said them out loud in situations that did not call for them even though it never happened.
There is a word for people like Mr Colin Harrow.
Unfortunately there are more people out there like him. Self serving busy bodies with nothing more to do with their time but pester and mither and get involved with things they don’t like.
The word cunt was not even used once. The implication of the word cunt was however.
If Mr Colin Harrow doesn’t like this word, then fair enough. To hear it out loud would constitute a lack of decorum and I would agree be offensive.
But it wasn’t.
The word was implied.
Implication is not a reason to become offended. Especially to the point of writing not just one, but two letters of complaint to the BBC.
Mr Harrow is reported to understand this by telling the Mail “Of Course they used a veil, but it was a pretty thin one. They might have well have said it.”
My advice to Mr Harrow, not that he has asked for it – nut he is getting it anyway ‘cos this is my blog, is to start a campaign to have all “thinly veiled smut banned from the BBC.” This would have to include the following:
Some mothers do ‘ave ‘em (title alone)
Any comedy broadcast from 1930- present day.
Any mention of a foreign leaders name because they all sound a bit rude don’t they
And of course – himself, for being the biggest “one of them things” that he doesn’t like to hear about.
To conclude – this is just another good reason to put a tick in the box marked “should we have a culling of the human race and wipe out all the idiots?”