10 Ways Television Has Changed the Way We Talk


Coarse Language

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is no flower. In 2009, Channel 4 in Great Britain was urged to fire the popular reality TV show star after he swore 243 times in one episode of "Ramsay's Great British Nightmare." The chef's first f-bomb exploded just 31 seconds into the program. By the end of the 103-minute show, Ramsay had tossed 187 f-grenades [source: Kelly].

Back in the day, television was a bastion of civil language. No one, certainly not John-Boy Walton, not even Archie Bunker, swore. Oh sure, there were a few "damns" and "hells," but nothing major. Civil language on TV has gone the way of the vacuum tube. A poll of more than 800 people in Great Britain found most believed there was more swearing on TV than 10 years ago. Seventy-six percent of those who responded to the Daily Mail's survey said swearing on TV was having a negative impact on young people, while 68 percent felt that bad language "led directly" to young people using foul language [source: Lyle]