Freedom of expression is again in the news.

Simon Tam has won his case before the US Supreme Court, allowing him to trademark the name of his all-Asian rock band, the Slants. But this ruling opens the door to people who want to trademark other offensive names — or hold on to existing ones. Is that okay? How do we distinguish between reclamation and vilification?

Linguist Daniel Midgley talks it over with Simon Tam on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Promo with Kylie Sturgess

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Episode 294: Trademarks and Slurs

Video episode 294: Trademarks and Slurs for patrons

Interview with Simon Tam, 2017-07-19 (complete)  coming soon

Cutting Room Floor 294: Trademarks and Slurs coming soon

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Show notes

Abraham Lincoln’s Bixby Letter Mystery Finally Solved After 150 Years

Abe Lincoln mystery ‘almost certainly’ solved using technique that unmasked JK Rowling

Joe Nickell’s analysis
Google Books link

Great slides from Andrea Nini

Paper: Attributing the Bixby Letter using n-gram tracing

The Slants’ Simon Tam Wins Supreme Court Case to Trademark Offensive Band Name

Supreme Court: Rejecting trademarks that ‘disparage’ others violates the First Amendment

An indie rock band just cleared the way for the Washington Redskins to keep their racist name

Rock band The Slants’ victory in court secures your rights

Listen to The Slants: The Band Who Must Not Be Named

Seattle band Thunderpussy awaits Supreme Court ruling on controversial names

Facebook community standards under scrutiny as out and proud ‘dykes’ banned

Richard Dawkins deplatformed at a book talk in Berkeley for “abusive speech” about Islam on Twitter

Richard Dawkins’ Open Letter to the People Who Canceled His Event

Organizations have the right to not invite Richard Dawkins — or me — to speak

‘Disinvite’ or ‘Uninvite’?

Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: Simon Tam