Right in the dystopian undertones

“When correctly viewed,” said Tom Lehrer, “everything is lewd.”

As always, Professor Lehrer was ahead of his time:

Seeing an article about the naughty language policies on Xbox Live generated two corollary effects:

1. The creation of this strip. Then,

2. A meditation on the feasibility of ever outrunning profanity.

A year ago, we saw a quiz thing that asked you to determine which of four odd phrases were euphemisms for sexual acts. By the time we had discovered this question, every item on the list had developed a carnal reputation. That is to say, every item. We are fast approaching a point where ordering a sandwich at a deli will land you in prison. While I’m intrigued by the dystopian undertones of this scenario, I don’t necessarily want to live under its strictures, not least of which because I tend to frequent delis.

Some of the things routinely done by bloggers, in fact, might sound perfectly filthy:

  • Working on the back-end
  • Refreshing the templates
  • Repositioning the header
  • Purging a pingback
  • Redirecting the feed

If this sounds a lot like “Horrifying Clichés” by Paul Coker, Jr., as featured in Mad, well, you know my early influences.

(Seen on a trip through TJICistan.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    28 July 2009 · 12:50 pm

    I find that one of the joys of viewing “Dirty Jobs” reruns is catching all the random references to “laying pipe” and such that I missed the first time through, and then going “Wait…he just said that!?!”

    The awesome thing about “Dirty Jobs” is that when he cracks wise about laying pipe, he is actually in the middle of helping out with sewer work, or hooking hoses together to pump out a septic tank. So it may be dirty, but it’s not entirely gratuitous.

    Interesting how many euphemisms are actually references to some form of manual labor.

  2. Dick Stanley »

    28 July 2009 · 2:07 pm

    “Out came the matador, Who must have been potted or, Slightly insane, Though he looked rather bored…” My own fav Tom Lehrer.

    CG, consider yourself tagged. I hope you play these games:


  3. McGehee »

    28 July 2009 · 3:59 pm

    What TV sitcom was it where “putting up shelves” was used consciously as a euphemism for conjugal duties? For some reason I’m thinking Mr. Roper used it on “Three’s Company.”

  4. Closet Atheist »

    29 July 2009 · 1:58 am

    McGehee: You are correct, Three’s Company. Jack and Mr. Roper were sitting in the Regal Beagle discussing it.

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