great columbians: George Carlin

George Carlin (1937-2008), comedian, linguist.  Carlin was obsessed with language and diction (think:  William Safire without the pomposity) and devoted much of his routines to it.  A routine of his, “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television,” was at the center of a prominent 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision, FCC v. Pacifica.   The Court sustained the FCC’s power to fine the radio station that played the routine unfiltered.   Many scholars largely regard the decision as wrong or, at best, a one-off.   He did not attend the University, but grew up in a building behind the Teacher’s College.  (see also, Google Maps).    That’s good enough for me.  RIP.

See also, Remembering George Carlin, Fresh Air, June 23, 2008.

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