“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer”*…
Ofcom, the government regulator of communications in the U.K., recently commissioned research into the relative offensiveness of 150 obscene words and gestures, as a basis for its regulations on content.
* Mark Twain
As we titter, we might recall that it was on this date in 1886 that the “tuxedo” made it’s debut, at a formal ball at the then-new Tuxedo Park Club, just outside of New York City.
Earlier that year, Tuxedo Park resident James Brown Potter and his wife were vacationing in England, where they were invited to dinner by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). Unprepared to dress for such an occasion, Potter asked the Prince for advice, and was sent to the the Prince’s tailor, Henry Poole & Co., where he was fitted with a short black jacket and black tie– not the then-standard white tie and tails.
Potter brought the ensemble back to Tuxedo Park, where he showed it to Pierre Lorillard IV, the scion of a wealthy tobacco family, who had just opened the Tuxedo Park Club– and whose passion was designing clothes. Lorillard revised the design to include the crepe lapels, covered buttons, and other now-standard details, and unveiled his creation at the Autumn Ball.
The prospect of liberation from tails proved irresistible– and the “tuxedo” steadily replaced traditional “evening wear” as the American formal standard. (Edward continued to wear “black tie,” so the fashion caught on in England too– as the “dinner jacket”– but remained a less formal option…)