Monday, September 27, 2010

The Bad News Is That Mother-in-Law Jokes Are Now Banned

The good news is that it's the London Borough of Barnet that's banned them.

Every now and then towns and cities try to [fill in the blank here: stupidly, foolishly, amusingly] ban what people can say. Not just in the United Kingdom, but in other advanced English speaking countries. Such as the United States, where a Illinois town tried to ban eye rolling at city council meetings.  At a Elmhurst, IL City Council meeting, the chairman of a council hearing expelled a witness after that witness sighed and rolled her eyes. Making faces behind the mayor's back is disruptive, in my opinion," the council chair said.

Or as in the District of Columbia, where you're barred from using profanity at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

There's often a good reason for banning certain kinds of words, facial expressions or jokes. In the case of the DMV, it's probably that if cussing wasn't banned, people at the DMV would be hearing bad words all day long. The Borough of Barnet has a more detailed explanation for banning mother-in-law jokes:  “Humour can be incredibly culture-specific, and is very open to misinterpretation or even offense by other cultures. And don’t forget when you don’t know what people are laughing at, it is very easy to imagine that they are laughing at you...British mother-in-law jokes, as well as offensively sexist in their own right, can also be seen as offensive on the grounds that they disrespect elders or parents.”

I'm on the fence here. Wouldn't it be a much better world without getting cursed at for rolling our eyes every time we hear the mother-in-law joke while standing in line at the DMV?

1 comment:

  1. That's it, that's the proof, we're all heading toward a New World Order! :)