Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Carlin Notation


We present Carlin Notation, based on the research done by late George Carlin. In his published findings, Carlin was well known for, among other things, enumerating the seven dirty words you cannot say on television. This research built on work previously performed by Lenny Bruce1 and others, but there's no evidence that expletives had been enumerated and classified prior to Carlin's publication. Indeed, Carlin pointed the way to a taxonomy of obscenity, although further research is needed.

Based on Carlin's work, we are proposing a shorthand notation for specifying individual expletives from the catalog. Using this notation, it's possible, for example to indicate the "F" word as Carlin[3], or simply C[3] or C3. Other curses may be referenced in a similar manner.

This notation also permits the concise representation of complex linguistic constructs.  For example, the expression

C6-"er"+"ing" C5

may be commonly heard in many high traffic urban areas.

Note that the convention among computer scientists is to index arrays and lists starting from 0. However, the general population, an important beneficiary of this notation, finds this practice nerdy, to say the least.  Therefore, we have reserved index 0, C0, to refer to *expletive deleted*.

We believe Carlin Notation will enable the algebraic and symbolic manipulation of adult language, and can therefore contribute to our understanding linguistics and cognition.

1Bruce, Lenny, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, Playboy Publishing, 1963.

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