From George Carlin To Bari Weiss: What Are The New ‘Seven Dirty Words?’ by the Forward

From George Carlin To Bari Weiss: What Are The New ‘Seven Dirty Words?’

Image by wikicommons

New York Times opinion writer and editor Bari Weiss is coming out with a book, as reported by CNN’s Reliable Sources.

The oft-controversial Jewish columnist will publish “The New Seven Dirty Words” with Holt in winter 2020.

The book appears based on a discussion she gave at the Chautauqua Institution in July, with the same title. It was inspired by comedian George Carlin’s 1972 performance, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” after which he was arrested. His skit eventually led to the enactment of rules around indecency in media.

In her talk, Weiss argued that today, in a time when the president routinely says ‘vile’ things about Mexican, Haitians, women and many other groups and individual people, those original foul words have lost their ability to shock.

Now, she said, there is a new set of words, ‘far more explosive.’ They are: imagination, humility, proportion, empathy, judgment, reason and doubt.

Not quite Carlin-esque, but certainly intriguing.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


The New Seven Dirty Words, As Told By Bari Weiss

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

From George Carlin To Bari Weiss: What Are The New ‘Seven Dirty Words?’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!