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Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation

Filthy Words

Given the subjectiveness of the criteria for determining whether or not speech is patently offensive, it is not surprising that many performers and broadcasters have intentionally used speech that could be considered offensive in an effort to be entertaining. "Filthy Words," a monologue performed by comedian George Carlin in the early 1970s is a magnificent example of this type of entertainment. In this monologue Carlin listed seven words that he categorized as "the words you can't say, that you're not supposed to say all the time." He then proceeded to use these words repeatedly in a number of humorous contexts throughout the remainder of the performance. Given Carlin's prominence at the time, "Filthy Words" was recorded and distributed to radio stations across the United States.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation - Obscene Or Offensive Speech, Filthy Words, Patently Offensive Language Hits The Fan, Legal Proceedings