We as a people don’t quite know what to do with that P word. Of course, I mean pornography. It clearly makes people uncomfortable, so why use it.
The reality is that I am not given a lot of good alternatives to use for pornography. Porno, naked ladies, naughty pictures, erotics, smut, vice, dirty books, girlie magazine and skin flicks are alternatives, but all of them sound disingenuous. I don’t want to sound like I am minimizing the harm done by using a softer sounding word. So, in my judgement, I don’t have a good alternative.
Pornography (which I often shorten to porn) is a precise term. The word actually has deep linguistic roots. Jesus himself used the word porneia (which means illicit sexual sin) at least three times in his ministry. Combined with the grapho (Greek for the verb to write) which later was incorporated in English to cover pictures as well (like in the word photography). Pornography literally means pictures of illicit sex.
So the term is precise, accurate, and uncomfortable. This is fitting in a way because we really shouldn’t be comfortable with pornography. Maybe it is right that the term gives us a sick feeling.
However you view the word, I wanted you to know why I use it. Feel free to disagree, but if you do, please let me know what term I should be using instead. Thank you all for reading. It has been very encouraging to me to watch this blog’s readership grow and grow.