Wednesday, August 22, 2012




A.  You have a delicate sensibility. (But if so, why the hell are you reading this blog?);
B.  You are at work somewhere other than HBO or a whorehouse and value the stability a steady income provides; or
C.  You are my mother.

Actually, never mind C. My mom can crank up the potty mouth with the best of them.

But c'mon. Could F really be for anything BUT the F word??
Bear with me; this is gonna get ugly.

The F word is truly the ultimate of swear words.

It was one of George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words:

Lenny Bruce got arrested for using obscenity, including the F word amongst some other choice nuggets:

Norman Mailer had to reduce it to "fug" in The Naked and Dead, leading Dorothy Parker to quip upon meeting him, "So you're the man who can't spell fuck."

Country Joe McDonald led the crowd at Woodstock spelling it out in a cheer before launching into a little ditty about 'war a-go-go' and being the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box. One of the first songs I learned all the words to as a child. No lie.

It's heavily featured in one of my favorite musical numbers of all time:

In that esteemed, veritable tome, The F Word, humorist Roy Blount Jr. waxes rhapsodic over it:

"Fuck. Sounds a little like a suction-cup arrow hitting a wall. Or someone pulling it off. Or putting a foot down in a quagmire. Or pulling it out. Connection, detachment. The old in-and-out."

But the book's editor, Jesse Sheidlower, urges careful use:

"The increasing acceptance of fuck in American society is not a sign that its use should be encouraged- nor should this book be considered such a sign. Any sort of language has a time and place appropriate to its use, and it is often unsuitable to use the word so thoroughly chronicled in this book. It would be as misguided to say that fuck should be used everywhere as it would be narrow-minded to insist upon its suppression."

He's got a point. When it become too commonplace, it does tend to lose its magic and its power to shock. It goes back in line with "hell," "damn," and "shit," those weenies of the cuss-words wagon.

One antidote to that may be in more imaginative uses of the word. For this, I would highly recommend reading The F Word. Apparently it's in its 3rd edition (the latest features an introduction by Lewis Black) and hopefully still includes the creative and evocative illustrations that accompanied more colorful entries such as:

I'm thinking one of the last two might be my new tattoo.

1 comment:

  1. You are just so utterly adorable, F is for !!!! I like playing with it, making it more printable: "fuch" "flippin'" and "fork it!". The very last would be schweet tat indeed.