Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Magic of "Witch with a 'B'"

Update: Another term that is being rehabilitated, although I am less eager to embrace this one as a positive: "The Return of the JAP"

In today's Times, TV critic Virginia Heffernan waxes poetic on the evolution of the meaning of the word "bitch" from a derogatory word for an awful woman to a term that denotes strength in a female and weakness in a male. The history of the word's use on television, ranging from Gilda Radner on SNL to Paris and Nicole on the Simple Life and Ryan on The O.C., is a fascinating story of how we appropriate words that make us uncomfortable. The article does strike me, however, as an exercise in seeing how many times the "Gray Lady" will publish this mild swear word.


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