In the following text what does labeling music with explicit language mean?

The executive pointed out that Apple isn't getting into the parenting business. He says that there are no standards for parenting, thus no standards on screen time. "People have different views about what should be allowed and not," he noted. But Cook did say that Apple is merely giving parents the controls to limit their kids' app usage if they feel that it is required. He added that Apple is working on a way to create age limits for apps and require parental approval for certain titles. The company also wants to label music with explicit language.

When I looked up "explicit" in the dictionary I found "obvious" and "clear". I don't know what is the act of labeling music with explicit language.


1 Answer 1


The word order here is confusing, particularly this use of "with". As written it's hard to interpret it any other way than as:

Apple wants to put explicit language into music.

This, of course, makes no sense. Why would Apple want to do this?

It helps if you recognize that "with" means "include" or "contain", the same as in something like "coffee with cream". This kind of confusion is poor writing style, and I would have edited it:

The company also wants to label music that contains explicit language.

"Explicit language" means things like profanity or overtly sexual references, or anything that many parents would consider unsuitable for children.

  • 1
    I'd never think of the "put explicit language in" interpretation. I don't think this is confusing, or particularly bad writing.
    – James K
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 6:36
  • @JamesK Maybe it's like the white-gold/blue-black dress. Some people will always read it one way, and some the other way. Maybe I'm weird that I am able to parse it both ways
    – Andrew
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 6:40

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