Vulgarity, Film Ratings, and Context

Prof. Julie Sedivy (Language Log) has a very interesting post about a British film ratings controversy involving a Ken Loach movie that uses the word “cunt.” The film rating people are distinguishing “aggressive” uses of the word from “non-aggressive” uses; a British commentator faults this for being a double standard, and a class-based one at that; Prof. Sedivy responds, I think quite soundly. A very interesting discussion. (What the proper rule of film ratings agencies should be, when it comes to either legally binding or non-legally-binding but nonetheless practically coercive ratings aimed at shielding minors from certain images or words, is a different story.)