NEW Zealanders may be becoming less shocked by swear words on television and radio, but good gracious, you’d be surprised at what upsets some chicks and dorks.
New Zealand’s Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has released its latest survey on the acceptability of words in broadcasting after surveying 1500 random people over the age of 18.
While the respondents were thought to be “softening” on the usual suspects of hard core swear words – from a list of 31 – they were also asked to name any other words or phrases they personally felt were unacceptable.
They came up with nearly 150.
Some were variations of, or contained the f*** and c*** words, or were derogatory religious, sexual or racial references.
You can look a lot of them up on the internet, maybe not at work, but it is difficult to establish how someone could take offence at the word presbyopia.
Presbyopia is not a swipe at Presbyterians, but actually an age-related eye condition where the eyes lose their ability to focus.
Other words on the list were chick, dork, goodgracious, forsake you, frogface, bluurr, doodoohead, peckie, dingdong, damn, damnit, Pakeha and OMG (Oh My God).
OMG, someone even found the term “sex” itself offensive, while another perhaps gardening-averse person didn’t like the word hoe (their spelling).
Someone also objected to “yoos and yoos fellas” and another to the term dim wit.
BSA spokeswoman Heather Church says the survey did not ask why people were offended by the phrases, but it was a way of monitoring trends and possibly adding more words to the list of 31.
“There’s not much we can about some of these words, there’s nowt so queer as folk … for some of them your guess is probably as good as ours,” she told AAP.
Both lists are notable for the absence of derogatory references to people with red hair.
Ms Church said that might not be showing up in surveys in reasonable numbers.