When you can say fuck on air

October 5th, 2009 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar

Brian Edwards blogs on the F word, and how often it is used on TV now. I’m not that interested in that (I hardly even realise when the word is said), but on his quoting rules from various radio and TV networks.

Radio New Zealand’s programme rules state: ‘In general, senior managers will never approve the word “”, and the word “” will only be approved in rare circumstances where context justifies its use.’

But what if one is talking about a Tasmanian?

The has an even stricter policy.  ’Fuck’ may not be used by its programme hosts or talk-back callers. Like all talk-back stations, the ZB network operates a 7-second delay, allowing hosts to delete unacceptable material before it is broadcast.

So is slightly more liberal. I’m on the Panel this afternoon so maybe I’ll see if I can slip it in – just kidding Noelle :-)

will allow limited use of obscene language after 8pm but takes a much more relaxed approach after 9.30. (Outrageous Fortune and Seven Days are both TV3 programmes broadcast after 9.30.)

Wasn’t the Ralston Group on after 9.30?

takes a similar position. Though it will on occasion broadcast the f-word after 8.30pm, it prefers to restrict its use of the word until after 9.30. If the word is used more than twice, the programme will be preceded by a viewer warning.

I love how they have a quota. More than two fucks and you get a warning!

Most New Zealand newspapers will not print the word ‘fuck’ in full, preferring to use asterisks as in ‘f**k’. This always struck me as rather silly, since there are very few New Zealanders who would not be able to fill in the missing letters.

It is silly, but I sometimes do it myself. It is a way of conveying what was said, without perhaps repeating any offence.

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29 Responses to “When you can say fuck on air”

  1. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    Fuck …

    I have no problem leaving it in if it’s a direct quote. That doesn’t mean you need be gratuitous about it. Often you can get around it by saying ‘so-and-so used an expletive’. (Talking about usage in newspaper or magazine stories here, since that’s my background.)

    I think that using f**k, or f*** is ludicrous. What is less offensive about ‘u’ and ‘c’ than ‘f’ and ‘k’? We all know what it means, so be straight-up with it.

    The same with cunt.
    And before the wimmin leap on to me about the word cunt there, and how it is so offensive to women, I should say I am still taken aback by its use by its casual women in their late teens up to early 30s.

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  2. themono (129 comments) says:

    Every good blog should have “motherfucker” set up as a tag. I note this is the only post it has been applied to though?

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  3. beautox (408 comments) says:

    There is a hilarious skit on Google video by Carey Marx, a comic that was in NZ last time around.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8468239454052605722&ei=Qz7JSurPMo_CqAOKpc2YBg

    It goes something like this:

    I notice there’s kids here, so what I’m going to do is instead of saying the word “f-word” I’ll use another word and all the adults will know that I mean the f-word. But instead I’m going to use the word cunt.

    It’s the name of a scotsman reviewer who reviews cutlery..

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  4. Johnboy (13,424 comments) says:

    Surely in view of the Geographic Boards recent decision regarding Wanganui a simple whuck is quite acceptable in place of the offensive word fuck.

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  5. homepaddock (429 comments) says:

    There’s a difference between North & South Island Maori eg – Aorangi/Aoraki. Would that make it okay to say fung?

    Ele Ludemann

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  6. Rod (236 comments) says:

    I’m of an earlier generation that is still quite uncomfortable about the F word, even though my daughters freely use it among their friends and can’t see what my problem might be. Until the 70s, in my circles it was never said in front of women, and was mostly reserved for extreme situations that warranted greater emphasis. Getting told to F off really meant something serious, and that you probably should. Such effects have now been greatly watered down.
    Bugger, on the other hand, flowed easily off the tongue in my youth. But to an American the B word is far less acceptable.
    You could perhaps have exchanged the roles of the two words in the two cultures.
    Seems to me the fact that we have adopted the F word so freely today simply reflects the Americanisation – sorry, silly me, Americanization of our culture.
    At this rate, current politics aside and going only by cultural assimilation, I reckon we and the Aussies will inevitably be merging our states into the Union within a generation.

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  7. Rod (236 comments) says:

    @Ele A good number of Christchurch people already do use the pronunciation “fung” – I think it’s because they are from Asia, though, rather than because they are SI Maori.

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  8. David in Chch (503 comments) says:

    I came up with a solution recently, because I am aware that some people would be taken aback if I were to say “fuck”.

    After it was reported in the news about Kevin Rudd’s “robust language” with caucus colleagues, I now say “Kevin Rudd” instead of “fuck”. It works well when you say “What the Kevin Rudd do you think you’re doing?” or “You don’t give a flying Kevin Rudd, do you?”

    And at the same time we can be taking the piss out of our Aussie cousins.

    Cheers :-)

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  9. Johnboy (13,424 comments) says:

    I agree wholeheartedly Rod. Thats why I prefer the evil Aussie banks pronounciation of—- Whackertain over the indiginous version —–Fuckataunee

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  10. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    I think all swearing is dreadful and chaps should refrain from it for two reasons; firstly it debases our language; secondly it shows the swearer is so ignorant with their inability to think of the correct word they must fill the sentence with swearing.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  11. XChequer (350 comments) says:

    Bollocks EL – it is a part of the lexicon of language, old boy, and one suggests you get used to it.

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  12. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    I’m with Elijah.
    It shows laziness of thought and a crassness of spirit.
    That said it does come out of my mouth sometimes, usually as either shit or whuck (thank you Wanganui!) as per Rod’s comment.

    Language is a dynamic thing and it does change over time but use of this and similar words is to me an indication of either our robustness or degradation as a society and as individuals.

    It’s funny how we change language like adultery to having an affair or rape to unlawful connection to minimise our deeds but seem to be more open to foul language in everyday life.
    It’s a conundrum isn’t it?

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  13. Johnboy (13,424 comments) says:

    “It’s funny how we change language like adultery to having an affair or rape to unlawful connection to minimise our deeds but seem to be more open to foul language in everyday life.
    It’s a conundrum isn’t it?”

    True MNZ. When did “having a whuck” become “sleeping together”?

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  14. Nomestradamus (2,772 comments) says:

    Is there some Netguide blog award for most innovative use of tags:

    Tags: Brian Edwards, fuck, motherfucker, NewstalkZB, Radio Network, Radio NZ, swearing, TV3, TVNZ

    For what it’s worth, DPF, Brian Edwards and, er, motherf**ker certainly make interesting word associations :)

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  15. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    I don’t use it in most circumstances but like most people, think that I use it too much and the use of from others does not impress.

    But… this:

    debases our language; secondly it shows the swearer is so ignorant with their inability to think of the correct word they must fill the sentence with swearing.

    It shows laziness of thought and a crassness of spirit.

    Is only said by small minded wankers who are indulging in a weakness typically seen in socialists and greenies of believing themselves superior.

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  16. Philonz (89 comments) says:

    Fuck has become a useful word but I do lament it’s loss of power. There’s just not that many words left that can shock (except for the C-bomb) so it has become hard to fully express oneself when one breaks one’s arm or encounters someone like clayton Weatherston.

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  17. Bob (443 comments) says:

    Do we have to go down the path of crudity? Can’t we have some decorum in our society? How many parents would tolerate their kids saying f**k at home? Perhaps I am just getting old.

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  18. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Bob 4:43pm – I ‘think’.. (obviously I have no direct knowledge of these fellows).. a lot of ignorant poor people would tolerate that from their children because they, themselves, do not know any better; but yes, it is a sad situation when various folk go down the path of crudity.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  19. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    DPF said “Most New Zealand newspapers will not print the word ‘fuck’ in full, preferring to use asterisks as in ‘f**k’. This always struck me as rather silly, since there are very few New Zealanders who would not be able to fill in the missing letters.”

    I beg to differ DPF – many years ago, the offending word was sprayed in weedkiller on the cricket pitch at my old school. It was patently obvious that the offenders were from the Tech school next door; the word was spelt FCUK :-)

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  20. Johnboy (13,424 comments) says:

    “at home? Perhaps I am just getting old.”

    How old are you Bob?

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  21. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    Very funny thread DPF, I have laughed more over this thread than throughout this chilly wet Monday…. Carrots are loving this, but all my potatoes are saying FUCK the weather. Onions are just at ease with it….

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  22. kiwirights (48 comments) says:

    things turn and change. When I was at school giving someone the fingers would get you caned but now it just looks silly. Its the “c” word that will make heads turn these days, but in 20 years it will be something else.

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  23. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Herman

    Superior?
    You clearly aren’t reading the same posts I am, I think your comment says more about you than anyone else posting here.
    Society is and has become more debased in it’s thinking hence it’s language and like others here I have included myself in this.
    Sadly we have degraded as a people group, dare I say become less than we were.
    I think there is a lack of respect for ourselves, for others and generally and it is a crassness of spirit.
    No matter what you might say.

    I read somewhere that someone wrote that swearing is like a violence with words if not against the person, then against the language, a product of a lazy mind.

    That said calling someone a dourse in Afrikaans can only be appreciated by the intensity of the tonal sound used.
    you can just say it, but also with feeling and that increases the meaning.

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  24. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i would submit that jeremy wells/newsboy was the first to drop a casual/woven into conversation (no apologies) ‘fuck’ on breakfast radio..

    it was on 95bfm in the mid-80′s..

    i know because i was producing the breakfast show the first time he used it..

    (during a post-news-bulletin conversation with mikey havoc..from memory)..

    i’ll admit to being a tad taken aback on the day..

    kinda silly when i think about it now..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  25. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    “it was on 95bfm in the mid-80’s..”

    Phil:
    Is Jeremy that old? I thought he was more in the mid-90s.

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  26. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    yeah..my bad..90′s..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  27. Bob (443 comments) says:

    To Johnboy, I’m old enough to remember Tim Shadbolt being prosecuted for saying “bullshit” in public.

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  28. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i think johnboy is older than you..bob..

    johnboy..?

    the waltons..?

    he should be johnoldman..really..

    phil(whoar.co.nz

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  29. BelowMDA (9 comments) says:

    Re. 95BFM, up until very recently (in fact they may still be playing it) ended their obligatory “if you are offended” broadcasting standards etc with fuckknuckle cock and piss, balls. Always made me chuckle.

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