Word of the Week: The etiquette of ‘F’

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An examination of the ‘F’ word

 

“F**king amazing” is considered a compliment by the Chelsea chicks that chatter but “f**king cheat” is one that they find themselves often using to describe what’s gone wrong with their relationships. The ‘F’ word is used by such people in many contexts, but one has to ask “When is using it appropriate?”

 

In the course of an evening in a bar in Chelsea, I overheard many such examples ranging from “I’ve f**ked up as I missed my flight” to “f**k you, I want another drink”. Within the same group were individuals who stated “she’s f**king awesome” and others who concluded they’d be “waking up in the morning with a f**king hangover”. The ‘F’ word peppered their conversations and was plainly a staple of their vocabulary.

 

Considered the third most offensive profanity, the ‘F’ word, it turns out, can be applied to all eight distinct usages for curse words as defined by a linguist named Geoffrey Hughes. It has been in the Oxford English Dictionary since 1972 but barred from titles in the United States. The ‘F’ word dates back to 1475 and is plainly something that isn’t going away.

 

We’ll leave the final word with the author Lisa Glatt. In A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That: A Novel, she states:

 

“I like the word ‘f**k’. The word means what it means, but it also means whatever you need it to mean”.

 

 

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    5 COMMENTS

    1. It is an important distinction if one uses f**k as a verb or adjective. I find those that use it as a common and daily adjective lack the creativity or discipline to choose a more apropos profanity.

      • Jonas Masekela was a inhabitant of a traditional village in Botswana, he left his family and village to seek his fortunes on the mines. He returned to his village the following year for a respite.
        The village Chief was very curious to find out more about life on the mines and especially white people.
        The Chief said: “Tell me more about the white people on the mine? Jonas replied, “They are really awkward and very amusing to watch” “What do you mean? replied the Chief” Jonas continued ” There is the “Boer” a strange white man from South Africa, they play a game with a oval looking ball, it is called “Rugby” There is also a white man from England, they play soccer. Then there is the white men who are the managers and bosses of the mine, they play a game with a long metal looking stick with a little white ball. They try to hit the little white ball with the stick, with the aim to get it into a very small hole.
        I think the name of the game is Fuck it.

      • To quote the great Osbert Sitwell(who you would never of heard of) …..’a gentleman is only ever deliberately rude’
        And to you I am Peter….

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