On facebook, a friend of mine posted a Family Circus cartoon wherein the children are playing in the car and shouting “Fuck!” over and over. The cartoon was meant to show that children can and will mimic and imitate what their parents say and do. In this case, the parents shout that word while driving; road rage is something many people can relate to, likewise is hearing your children repeat things you’ve said (whether you meant them to or not).
I laughed at the cartoon, and then re-posted it to my own facebook wall. This compelled a family member to note that he was offended my my used of that word. I told him:
A) I didn’t use the word, the cartoonist did.
B) The cartoon is pointing out that children mimic both actions and language of their parents; in this instance that means that the parents are shouting that word while driving and the kids are mimicking that.
C) I make use of all of the words in the English language.
D) If I cannot use all of the words in the English language in public forums, such as facebook, then that very much would be in violation of my freedoms of speech and expression. There are plenty of things that I see or read that offend me, but much of the time I choose exercise my rights to freedom of speech and expression by doing as you have done and putting my two cents worth into the discussion. The other alternative is to just avert one’s eyes from things which cause offense. There is no way I can go my whole life without offending anyone, and trying will just cause undue stress.
I understand that you have your viewpoints and that I have mine. I know that I am of a younger generation; perhaps my mentality might be different had I grown up in a different era. I do know that many of my college professors also embrace all of the words in the English language, even those which might be taboo. Granny (Carolyn Sue Broadus Snow) has mentioned to me her own aversion to the same word that you discussed.
I no longer have access to the online Oxford English Dictionary, so I cannot verify whether the word “fuck” appears within said dictionary. However, I have found it in other dictionaries that I’ve owned copies of over the years. It has its own WikiPedia entry, appears in the online Urban Dictionary, and has been written about in Snopes.com articles. There is a website, fuck.org, which features a large up-close photograph of a pussy (the meowing kind, not the kind one might find between the legs of a woman). Steve Anderson directed a 2005 movie entitled “Fuck.” I thought about linking to all those things, but decided to not clutter the paragraph with links to things you could Google. Just don’t forget to have your safe search on if you are offended by pornography.
My point is, fuck is here to stay. It may be taboo to some, offensive to some, but it’s a word and people use it. Using it just for shock value may be wrong, but using it for emphasis in certain situations is totally fine. As with any word, it can be overused.
It is annoying, after all, to watch a comedian’s bit on Comedy Central and find that every third word is an expletive (word that has no meaning). But I contend that “fuck” and words like it are not always completely meaningless. I’ll spare you the History and Development of the English Language lesson, but suffice to say that the word “fuck,” in all of its variations, can fit into virtually every part of speech. If you tell someone, “Please shut the door,” that is certainly nice. But what if they do not listen? What if you’ve told them thirty times without them listening? Do you continue to ask nicely? Do you get up and shut it yourself, thus letting them get away with ignoring you? Or do you use a more demanding tone and language? “Shut the fucking door!”
Maybe the use of “taboo” words is not for everyone; I’m not out to convert the masses. However, if people cannot look at the real me in all of my expletive-using, tattoo-getting, new-age-belief-having glory and say, “Hey, I still want to get to know this person,” then I don’t really know if I want to interact with those people on a regular basis. I love my family, even the distantly related members of that family. I love all human beings. But I see no reason to put on kid gloves all the time, censor myself all the time. I used to chant, “I’m me, I’m me, and that’s all I’ll ever be,” in my head when I was a kid. It was a way of helping myself deal with the taunting of cruel fellow children.
I’ve always gyrated to the beat of a different marimba. I was the girl with the weird hair. I was the girl who wore the clothes that weren’t fashionable. Sometimes people emulated my style, other times they berated me for it. I’m not out to alienate myself from the masses, but I’m also not out to over-inflate my social-networking friend lists with people who like a watered-down version of me.
Peaches–I wanna tell you something. You know what? I don’t give a damn about my reputation. I don’t give a fuck!