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Somewhere beyond the C

PROFANITY! The C Word: How We Came To Swear By It, BBC3, 10.30pm

The C WordSome of you are probably clutching your pearls already, so if it makes you feel any better, we tried really hard not to write about this programme, but the temptation was just too strong. We did wonder how best to approach it without causing offence, which got us thinking: really, it's just a programme about words, isn't it? Isn't it really just Balderdash and Piffle with a slightly higher potential to offend? We could technically proceed further down the "isn't it really YOUR problem?" school of thought, but we're not looking to get into a fight, so we won't.

We don't maintain any illusions that this is a family website, but we'll refrain from actually using That Word in this preview just to be on the safe side, especially since there are those who would argue that since lowculture is a predominantly male website, editorially speaking, we don't even have the right to say it because we don't have one. Which is an interesting point, but then you return to the old argument where you say that you can say "umbrella" without actually having one, especially if you're Rihanna, so what's the difference?

ANYway, for those of you who haven't already guessed, this is an exploration of what is arguably the English language's most powerful expletive, and the one that is still surrounded by a pretty strong sense of taboo. Will Smith (the British one, thankfully - and hopefully this clarifies why we're using his picture to illustrate this, just in case anyone assumed we thought he was a you-know-what, which we swear on a stack of Bibles - or copies of Inside Soap, whatever's to hand - that we absolutely don't) will be exploring the word in more detail and trying to figure out why it riles people so much, with the help of some ubiquitous talking heads. Not one for the easily offended, we suspect. (And also FYI, if you really don't like That Word, you're probably best off steering clear of the Hollyoaks thread on the messageboards, just to be on the safe side.)

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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