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The 'Boobquake' Continues: A Linguistic Analysis

'Have you heard about the Boobquake?'

'Have you heard about the Boobquake?'

The "Boobquake" campaign was the indirect result of recent comments by an Iranian cleric, who warned that "women who do not dress modestly...lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which [consequently] increases earthquakes."

A young American blogger, Jennifer McCreight, responded to Tehran-based cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi by calling on women worldwide to dress scandalously on April 26 in an effort to prove him wrong. (An earthquake struck Taiwan that day, but no one has claimed a causal relation.)

McCreight's "Boobquake" campaign quickly claimed some 100,000 members online and the interest of international press. But in Iran, even its supporters ran into some unexpected trouble: how does one say "Boobquake" in Persian?

Niusha Boghrati of RFE/RL's Radio Farda's explains the difficulties the Iranian press had in covering this risqué news item.

-- Kristin Deasy

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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