Re: [OT] proscribed words... (was:What is the principle?)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sun Mar 28 2004 - 12:46:47 EST

  • Next message: Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin: "Re: U+0140"

    From: "Carl W. Brown" <>
    > It was like the US telecommunications act which set fines for transmitting
    > its set of proscribed words including in programs that were designed to
    > filter the words out of text.

    Dos this list really exist? Seriously, there's no word that can be proscribed,
    because they are not themselves infamous. What is infmous or dangrour is their
    use to make propaganda or incite someones to perform illegal or criminal acts,
    or acts of war or terrorism, or to diffamate someone without legitimate proofs
    of his acts, or to deny forbid to someone his right to answer to such attacks.

    If such words are prohibited, it just forbids defenders to use that same words
    even when publishing laws listing them as illegal. Even the word pornography
    isn't abusive if used in a appropriate context.

    Let's just then forbid the words war or racism, I don't think it will solve the
    problem caused not by these words but what they represent, and it will just
    complicate the task of those that are usefully helping to fight against their
    existence in our real world.

    And finally this will never be effective to limit the communications of those
    that perform these infamous speeches or publications and communications, because
    they will always find some other rude words to bypass these limits.

    Can a law forbid some words in a language? May be yes, in a terrorist or
    dictatorial country that denies the right of peoples to name their own community
    or distinctive signs and symbols of recognitions; I call this oppression if this
    law applies to private mutual communications...

    (I include there similar issues during the McCartist period in US for those who
    claimed to be communist, with such stupid laws changing the words themselves
    into infamous qualificatives to designate people having unrelated opinions; or
    to the current Chinese opporession against the representation of Tibetan
    identity by its own language.)

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