English literary critic, scholar, and writer
WORDS ABOUT WORDS
That the suppression of certain kinds of language has the effect desired is surely doubtful. Forbidden language may be dangerously attractive simply because it is forbidden. Older speech codes banned from civilized society the street language of sex, but this inhibition does not seem to have improved sexual behavior or the status of women. And when "political correctness" restrictions are extended to absurdity, the imposition of speech codes might be thought useless as well as tyrannous.
Frank Kermode, English literary critic, scholar, and writer, The New York Times, February 23, 1992
Posted on November 19, 2003 at 7:46 PM