Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 12:04:43 GMT+1200 From: Tim Behrend Subject: Re: Anodyne Expletives and TV police dramas I have an impression that the strictures on offensive speech that govern American television might have been very productive in the 1980s of a new burst of euphemistic language. I don't remember ever hearing words like scuzz bucket, scumbag, rat-breath, and so forth before Hill Street Blues, which attempted to create a tough, vulgar, 'realistic' street atmosphere without using any of the seven (?) outlawed words. There was one character in particular, Belcher (Belker?) -- the short, inarticulate, onion-eating, Jewish cop who growled as often as he spoke -- who came out with these and many other relatively euphemistic epithets. Andy Cszypowitz (?) of NYPD Blue continues the tradition today, though with relatively fewer constraints than the pioneers of the early 80s had to work under. Does anyone else share this impression of the late blooming of a new, harsher, euphemistic vocabulary of insult? Or did I just grow up too much in the gutter, and it wasn't until getting away from the projects that I encountered this softer, middle lexicon of prime time vituperation? Tim Behrend University of Auckland