We saw a trailer for an R-rated movie, and one of the rating justifications was for "pervasive language."
"So that means it's a 'talkie'?" my friend said.
Apparently this odd wording has been remarked on since 2005 or so, but I had not noticed it till then.
Following is a paragraph from a 2009 MovieChopShop post on the MPAA's vernacular:
And we all know about their little one-fuck, two-fuck rules that bump a PG-13 straight up to an R. But why does Reservoir Dogs have “strong language” while The Departed has “pervasive language,” and Pulp Fiction has “pervasive strong language,” when they really all seem like they might as well be about the same?
The Merriam-Webster site says pervasive can be neutral ("a pervasive sense of calm") but "is most often used of things we don't really want spreading throughout all parts of something," such as "a pervasive stench."
The M-W site ends with a shoutout to the MPAA:
... Beginning in the early 1990s, the MPAA started giving the R rating to movies with "pervasive language." Most movies have language throughout, of course. The MPAA is using the phrase "pervasive language" to refer to the frequent use of a particular kind of language: profanity.
Strong language? Profane language? Bankrupt language for an obsolete and purposeless ratings system?