offensive language in television

Topics: Television, Television program, Reality television Pages: 6 (2099 words) Published: February 6, 2014

Offensive Language in Television
Offensive language has been the surrounding factor in finding subjects to base many television shows with. Many television shows use offensive language to draw in their viewers and leave them with excitement, through the words they use. The various television shows that will be mentioned in this paper have used offensive language as their main topic. Many of the shows are known for the offensive language they use to spotlight various races and stereotypes on many individuals. The television shows all offend a certain group of people, many of the words used may not seem that they would have an offensive meaning to them, however in the TV shows they disguise the offensive meaning of the word. Information can be found in Television in American Society Reference Library book on American television. (McNeill)

MTV has recently produced a reality TV show called “Jersey Shore” this show has reported high ratings to a young viewing audience. The television show is a reality series about a group of individuals who live in a home on the Jersey Shore. The individuals on “Jersey Shore” have created their own language to refer to other individuals in a sort of code word form. This show is particularly watched by a younger group of individuals. The show has had a huge success on a younger audience and many of the words used in the show have begun to be used by the viewers.

In “Jersey Shore” one of the words they use is “Atomic Bomb” the meaning of this word is completely different than the actual meaning of the word. In this particular show they use this word to refer to unattractive women. The meaning of this word goes hand and hand with the word “grenade” used on “Jersey Shore.” Both of these words are often used when the individuals are in a nightclub scene. They use these words to offend women with out there knowledge of what they are even being referred to as. This word can be found extremely offensive to any female that has been referred to as this. The words used to offend women give an example of Deborah Tannen’s essay “A Marked Woman. (Tannen.)

This is a prime example of how the language used between the cast members is a language of their own, which is used to offend women. At the moment when the women are being called these terms they are unaware of the meaning of the word, which can create an even bigger offensive meaning behind the word. The word “landmine” on “Jersey Shore” is also used to refer to skinny unattractive women. These examples all spotlight females and have an offensive meaning behind the appearances of the individuals being targeted in the argument. The television cast has created new meanings for these words, and the new meanings of the words has begun to take over the actual meaning of the word. The new generation of today has begun to evolve these words and is now used in a casual setting for today.

In the TV show the cast members even created a new term to refer to themselves as. The terms are “Guido and Guidette” this can be found extremely offensive to any Italian. This term falsely represents what a true Italian-American is. The television show is surrounded by words used to describe Italians. Such as the word “Guerilla or Juice Head” which is often used to describe a male in the TV show. The terms are describing an Italian male who works out a lot and has developed a muscular figure. The female cast members use these terms to describe their men, just as the men use the offensive terms towards the females they are targeting. The show gives a prime example of offensive language that is disguised in ignorance and unintelligence. The members of the show walk around using these terms as if there are no consequences to their actions. The young viewers of the show are being exposed to this ignorance and many are even subjecting themselves to using the language in their own world. This show is found offensive to women, men, and Italians. The way the cast members...

Cited: Cogan, Brian. Deconstructing South Park: Critical Examinations
Of Animated Transgression. United States: Lexington Books,
2012. EBook.
Sapolsky, Barry S., and Barbara K. Kaye. “The Use of Offensive
Language By Men and Women in Prime Time Television Entertainment.” Atlantic Journal of Communications 13.4 (2005): 292-303. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.
Tannen, Deborah. “Marked Woman.” Language and Prejudice. Ed.
Tamara M. Valentine. New York: Pearson Longman, 2004. 129-
35. Print
McNeill, Allison. Television in American Society Reference
Library. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007. Print.
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