Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Magicking words II

Geoffrey Pullum at Language Log talks about the word "faggot" and its magical properties wherein mere mention of the word causes dark and mystical things to happen.

[Ann Coulter] stated that use of a certain word (which she mentions but does not use) is now so destructive of one's place in society that entering a rehabilitation facility is required afterwards (the reference is to Isiah Washington), and therefore ("so") she can't discuss Edwards. The remark is clever, funny, and highly indirect, and it conversationally implicates that Edwards is a faggot but does not call him that. ...

But keep in mind that Coulter is not a serious commentator or writer. She is a performance artist specializing in scurrilous allegations, slanderous insults, wild exaggerations. ... To object to what Coulter does is to confuse showbiz with the business of government. [emphasis in original]

But, that showbiz status isn't getting her a free pass from the outrage.

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