I have been doing a sort of word association during this challenge. I am not sure what it says about me that there was only ONE word I could think of for the letter 'F'.
I hate to break it to everyone but, not only is the world on the verge of economic Armageddon, but the language is losing one of its strongest members. That’s right. That curse word to end all curses. The one word saved for the most heinous of misdeeds. The one word that ignites the swiftest and cleanest (read-soapiest) punishments of all time. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the misused and overused king of the expletives: may I present the act, the curse, the word – F$%K.
I ate lunch with a friend today and in the course of our lunch she used the word
f$%k and its more colorful derivative ‘f-ing’ at least twenty four times. She spoke of the ‘f-ing bills’ – sounds like an awful lot of paper cuts to me – the ‘f-ing dog’ – either a behavior problem or quite possibly an illegal act – and her ‘f-ing husband’ – not sure what the problem is there, from all the erectile dysfunction advertisements on television, I would think she would be celebrating. By the end of our lunch I just wanted to scream
“F-it”! But I am more of the type to swear in the key of ‘shit’ so I just shook my head and told her she had broken one of my cardinal rules: you may use a foul word up to three times after which you must find a different one. To be unable to do so just shows an extreme lack of imagination, or education.
For some reason, the word ‘f$%k’ has become a popular, everyday expletive and I am unsure why. It is not a phrase that is pleasing to the ear like say, ‘damn it’. Now there is a phrase that rolls nicely off the tongue where as ‘f$%k’ just spits itself out of the curser’s mouth with the same melodic quality of a first year German student reciting her vocabulary list. Nor is it really honest with its meaning. Take for instance, if you say to someone ‘to hell with you’ you may rest assured that they know exactly where you wish them to go. But, if you heatedly reply ‘F$%K you’ by definition wouldn’t the person assume that you wished to have sexual relations with them? I have had this phrase offered up to me on a few occasions and I can tell you quite pointedly that I would not like to be ‘F-ed’ by the person proposing this activity and I am relatively positive that they did not want to actually be intimate with me.
It was not that long ago that the word ‘f$%k’ guaranteed a pretty stringent movie rating. The producers would ponder long and hard over whether inclusion was worth the alienation of much of the viewing audience. ‘F$%k’ is still not allowed to be spoken over the airwaves of television or radio without a hefty fine-unless you are cable. In fact, use of this particular word by underage children is still considered grounds for oral cleansing of the most anti-bacterial kind in many of the contiguous forty-eight states, as well as Alaska and Hawaii. Now, some will make the case for vocabulary stimulation among the young that attempt to cover up their use of ‘f$%k’ with such delightful terms as ‘fudge’, ‘flip’, ‘fleck’, something about the 'front door' and (my personal favorite) ‘freaking’. But when it comes down to brass tacks, ‘f$%k’ has out lived its shock value.
To illustrate my point, allow me to share a true story. One night, while working in the emergency room of a small inner city hospital, my partner and I were delighted (and by delighted I mean annoyed) to be placed in the company of a large, strung out inebriated professor of our favorite expletive. He wanted to F$%K everything – the hospital, the gown, the ambulance that brought him there. He propositioned me and my partner by the endearing request to ‘get f-ed’. When it came time for refreshment he demanded some F-ing water. Loudly. And repeatedly. ‘Give me some F-ing water’ was his credo, his mantra, his Hallelujah chorus.
My partner had been in the emergency medicine field for a long, long time. It was three in the morning and this guy was our only patient. There is nothing we wanted more than to see him ambulate in a linear direction towards home or at least pass out asleep. So as he shouted once more “give me some F-ing water” my partner very calmly offered two large cups of water and replied, “I’m sorry, we don’t have any F-ing water here. All we have is regular water, will that do?”
That was the end of his F-ing tirade. The bloom was off the rose. He had lost the will to 'F' anything. He drank the water and went to sleep. The drunk on his ass junkie goliath had been felled by the well slung word of a fifty year old, one hundred twenty pound woman.
So, my point is this. When a middle age woman can use what was once considered the verbiage of teamsters and merchant marines the jig is up.
The word ‘f$%k’ has seen its glory day. Its power to shock is gone. We have become desensitized to the meaning if not the sound of those four letters being used to describe everything from a bad piece of fruit to an expensive and well cared for car. It is time for ‘f$%k’ to go the way of BetaMax tapes and Mickey Roarke (before The Wrestler). R.I.P. f-$-%-k.
It is time to find a new word.
(I actually wrote this in 2009, but technically it is Throwback Thursday, which I observe when convenient and I did have to do some editing to make this moderately family friendly. Besides, this Alphabet Challenge is F-ing hard.)
Oh, and FLOWERS!
|Napoleon despises the allergies from these F$%king tulips! |
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