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Oct 26 2012

The Use of “Fuck” by Bloggers and Commenters

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“Fuck” is an English, or Anglo-Saxon, word that, according to the O.E.D., has been around since 1503. Wikipedia says since 1475. Either, or both, may be wrong. As Ken Ham, regarding his mission of substituting Creationism, a religion, for Evolution, a science, would say: “Where you there?”

It is generally considered vulgar, and certainly not okay, to use fuck in any of its forms in most situations, like when attending afternoon tea parties at the church ice cream social on the green. It is considered vulgar because it means, in its original usage, the act of copulation.

At certain times and places, use of the word, as noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or in any of its compounds, like “motherfucker,” could, and still can, get you thrown in jail. Even where not unlawful, it is still almost universally considered unacceptable and vulgar and its use is not permitted in most mainstream press and media. It is the most awful, bad, evil, unthinkable, denounced, and used, forbidden word that exists in the English language.

Here is my attempt to conjugate fuck for grammatical purists. I fuck; You fank; They fonk. Perhaps the usage will catch on and give a greater purity to the often illiterate and largely incoherent syntax of some who visit or write blogs.

There is a nice little town in Austria named Fucking, Austria. The use of the word is not illegal there.

Fuck, in all of its potential usages, seems to be the most popular word for current blog usage, thus demonstrating the apparent inability of the writer to use anything approaching a full range of vocabulary. Its use, of course, by intelligent, well educated people could be an attempt to demonstrate how free they believe themselves to be of social norms. And the word has morphed into many far ranging meanings.

The following story, doubtless meant to be humorous, is reproduced here from anonymous sources and augmented by your narrator:

It was a fucking dark and stormy fucking night. I was fucking depressed in my fucking hotel room in the fucking city where I had to spend the fucking night after my fucking car broke the fuck down. So I went the fuck outside and walked up the fucking street in the fucking rain to this fucking bar. I said to myself “What the fuck,” and went the fuck in. And at the fucking bar I saw this fucking woman sitting all the fuck by her fucking self. I asked her what the fuck she was doing there and she said she had been fucked over by some fucking guy. “Fuck him,” I said. I told her I had been fucked over too and that the fucking world is fucking filled with fucked up people. So, after a few fucking drinks, we walked down the fucking street to my fucking hotel room. I shut and locked the fucking door. We both took off our fucking clothes and got into the fucking bed. And then we made love.

And that’s that, said the grammarian.

Edwin
© by Edwin Kagin, 2012.

43 comments

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  1. 1
    markr1957

    Oddly the last fucking paragraph reminds me of every fucking conversation I ever fucking had when I fucking lived in fucking Scotland, especially with fucking 80 year old ladies in the fucking pub! Fuck that shit!

  2. 2
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Fornication Upon Consent of the King, or so I’ve heard…

    Anyways… I’ll use fuck all I want, thank you very much. I’m proud of my sailor’s mouth (minus the gendered slurs, of course).

    1. 2.1
    2. 2.2
      Usernames are smart

      ‘Tis an Urban Legend, I’m afraid.

    3. 2.3
      Solitas

      Fir Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is also one.

    4. 2.4
      sumdum

      Please not that old myth. It’s a word of germanic origin, like in dutch fokken and swedish focka. Acronyms are really fuckin recent and these kind of just-so explanations concerning acronyms are almost always wrong.

      1. NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

        Hence the phrase “or so I’ve heard”. I wasn’t suggesting it was right, just that it’s what I’ve heard…

    5. 2.5
      richardelguru

      The earliest generally accepted use is by (or at least about) the monks of Ely in a macaronic poem …and in code!

      The original reads:
      Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk

      Decoded it reads:
      Non sunt in coeli, quia fvccant vvivys of heli

      And de-latined it reads:
      They are not in heaven because they fuck the women of Ely

      Isn’t that a fun fucking fact?!

  3. 3
    trucreep

    Jungle Low

  4. 4
    DLC

    Fornicating right!

  5. 5
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    It is the most awful, bad, evil, unthinkable, denounced, and used, forbidden word that exists in the English language.

    I don’t think so. Myself I’d put it at a distant #3, at most. Fuck, I’ll say up and down, day and night. I don’t even feel too fucked when I accidentally say it in front of my kid, who is 12 and probably hears it a dozen fucking times a day at school.

    But I won’t drop C or N even here in writing. They can do actual harm with their sheer nastiness.

    Fucking fuckedy fucker fuck.

  6. 6
    mildlymagnificent

    It is the most awful, bad, evil, unthinkable, denounced, and used, forbidden word that exists in the English language.

    Really?

    I know quite a few people who let the occasional fuck pass without comment in some circumstances, but who’d recoil in horror at any use anywhere by anyone, even a whispered mutter behind a muffling hand, of cunt.

    1. 6.1
      NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

      Difference:

      One is a gendered slur. Can you guess which one?

      (Hint: it’s NOT “fuck”)

      1. mildlymagnificent

        Well, that’s one good thing from my point of view.

        The fact remains that the gendered slur is, in fact, more avoided and more “awful, bad, evil, unthinkable, denounced, … forbidden” than fuck. Much more unthinkable and forbidden, avoided entirely and severely frowned on by many people who use fuck frequently and light-heartedly.

        Though I’d agree whole-heartedly with Edwin that the far too frequent use of fuck can be an indicator of inadequate vocabulary and a pointer to a lack of clear or imaginative thought.

      2. harrysanborn

        I get that but only to a point. Dick and bitch are used quite frequently without the same backlash. It’s like that word is somehow more powerful.

        1. NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

          To me, that’s backwards. “Fuck” should receive a much less severe response than both “bitch” and “dick”.

          “Fuck” doesn’t have a history of oppression behind it. Gendered slurs (specifically female-gendered slurs, but male-gendered as well, albeit to a rather lesser extent) do.

          I liken words like “dick” and “bitch” to words like “nigger”. In this context I feel safe in using them, but I refrain from referring to men as “dicks”, women as “bitches”, and African Americans as “niggers”, all for relatively the same reasons (and this goes for all oppressive slurs, not just those three; I’m doing my best to excise them from my vocabulary).

          I simply don’t see words like “fuck”, “shit”, “ass”, “damn”, etc in the same way. While they are “bad words”, they are not oppressive words, and thus I don’t see any serious problem with them.

          Of course, I’m censoring only myself, here. I don’t presume to have the power to censor other people, and even if I did have that power, I wouldn’t exercise it to that extent. Cultural prohibitions (created by education and societal conformity) work much better than legal prohibitions, anyways.

  7. 7
    Argle Bargle

    So Edwin thinks the word “fuck” is used too often. Who gives a fuck?

    1. 7.1
      mas528

      Evidently you do.

      1. Argle Bargle

        Care to guess again?

        1. mas528

          I don’t have to guess

          your post on this thread is self-negating.

          I almost thought you did it on purpose as a joke.

  8. 8
    unbound

    Well, fuck…

  9. 9
    mikmik

    Unfortunately, as an appeal to signs of ignorance, the use of fuck is no such thing exclusively. Many of the most intelligent people I have ever met use the term, males and females, high social standing and low.

    It shows a down to earth sensibility as opposed to a sanctimonious fuck waxing pedantically. Over using any word sounds ignorant, and proves nothing:
    It was a darn dark and stormy darn night. I was darn depressed in my darn hotel room in the darn city where I had to spend the darn night after my darn car broke the darn down. So I went the darn outside and walked up the darn street in the darn rain to this darn bar. I said to myself “What the darn,” and went the darn in. And at the darn bar I saw this darn woman sitting all the darn by her darn self. I asked her what the darn she was doing there and she said she had been darned over by some darn guy. “darn him,” I said. I told her I had been darned over too and that the darn world is darn filled with darned up people. So, after a few darn drinks, we walked down the darn street to my darn hotel room. I shut and locked the darn door. We both took off our darn clothes and got into the darn bed. And then we made love.

    1. 9.1
      harrysanborn

      Dagnabbit.

      1. Crudely Wrott

        Heh.
        My father (1911-1982), who was one of the last real cowboys, could frequently be heard voicing this curse:

        Dadburn the dadratted dadgum . . .

        . . .as well as curses that shuffled the order of the three terms.
        I must say that in his speech he was a “gentleman” especially in the presence of children and women, something that he impressed upon me in my youth and that has ever since been part of my personal speech habits.
        Another trait that I share with him is that such consideration is thrown to the four winds after the consumption of sufficient whiskey, ‘kin ay.

    2. 9.2
      den1s

      “a sanctimonious fuck waxing pedantically” I love that and may steal it :)

      1. mikmik

        LOL, thanks! Hope you get good opportunities to use it. I’ve learned a lot of good ones around here. Right on ;)

  10. 10
    submoron

    There’s a chest rub called “Vick”. German speakers may want to comment on the etymology here.

    The word should, for me, be used very sparingly and not used purely to give gratuitous offence… which I’ve heard being done.

  11. 11
    Kevin K

    I don’t understand why any word would be considered taboo if its use conveys accurate information to the recipient.

    This is another instance of religious folks standing on their heads to get you to conform to their hyper-strict behavioral code.

    “Swearing” or “taking the Lord’s name in vain” are supposed to be one in the same violations of one of the Big Ten (Commandments, not football-playing universities).

    But that’s not what the commandment was originally about. It was about honoring a contract.

    In an age where virtually everyone was illiterate, a promise “to the Lord” to deliver 3 goats in exchange for 20 chickens was the standard. And the Commandment was about honoring a verbal contract. Not about saying “damn” or “shit” or even “fuck”. It was about not promising to deliver 3 goats if you only had 2 in your possession. And therefore promising “in vain”. Get it?

    I have no idea when the concept of taboo words came about. Or how that concept got conflated with the contract-law obligation spelled out in the bible. But I think it’s fucking stupid.

  12. 12
    mikmik

    Just read this:

    There is no diplomacy with these individuals, and very often their reaction to just being in the presence of an atheist warrants our undiplomatic, intolerant finger-pointing. Besides, I am not out to win a Nobel Peace prize, nor am I out to make friends with anyone who holds the beliefs I listed above as truth. I don’t give one, single iota of credibility to their beliefs and I will continue to make it my mission in life to make it as difficult as I possibly can for them to be perceived as anywhere near resembling normal people.

    http://atheists.org/content/god-said-it-i-believe-it-settles-it

  13. 13
    Claire

    The origins of “Fuck” being considered vulgar is not because it means “the act of copulation” but because it is not a French word meaning “the act of copulation”, and the idea that vulgar – that is “in use by the common man” – is impolite comes from when the French invaded England, and French became the lingua-franca of the court. To speak in the vulgar tongue was to speak the common English of the peasant. Or, to put it another way, the idea that vulgar language is rude is rooted in snobbery, some of which persists to this day.

    it is still almost universally considered unacceptable and vulgar and its use is not permitted in most mainstream press and media

    I would simply refer you to the opening lines of Four Weddings and a Funeral ;)

  14. 14
    left0ver1under

    The choice to use profanity is bit like the choice to wear uncommon clothes or body modifications. People have every right to dress goth or punk, or get tattoos and piercings. Intelligent people won’t care about the outside stuff, they’ll judge you by who you are, not how you look.

    There will always be some who claim that appearance or profanity is a reason to deny people respect or the right to be heard. They have no counterargument, so they use the false argument of “obscene language” to avoid answering. They’re wrong and they’re cowards, but they’re going to do it anyway.

    I choose not to use profanity or insults, and some people think I’m a milquetoast because of it. It’s a no win situation, so I say screw ‘em. Say and write in whatever style you want, as long as you speak intelligently and have a valid argument. Intelligent writers will eventually find an intelligent audience willing to look past certain words. Only those with weak arguments and weak minds will object.

  15. 15
    =8)-DX

    I think the usage of these words is pretty simple – use them to express personal emotion, let off steam in a nonviolent way, or in the context of close friendship where their demeaning nature is subverted. Don’t use language like this to hurt people. I meant: Don’t fuckin’ use fuckin’ language like this to fuck with people!

  16. 16
    richardelguru

    Hey I have a comment that’s still awaiting moderation since. Oct 31 (not to be confused with Dec 25 by any computer geeks out there).
    It’s a fairly moderate comment, so what gives??

    1. 16.1
      Edwin Kagin

      It must have simply been missed. Please re-post it and direct my attention to it and it will be approved. I do not censor my readers thoughts, although I sometimes censure them.

  17. 17
    Linda Hedrick

    Here’s something I wrote about the word over a year ago:

    http://cerebralboinkfest.blogspot.com/2011/07/f-word.html

  18. 18
    Aratina Cage

    A stunning post! And where the fuck is P-what’s-his-name to whine and cry and throw spittle all over your blog because you used the word fuck–a lot?

  19. 19
    blindrobin

    Well fuck!

  20. 20
    JanaTheVeganPiranha

    “Cuss” words are just words adults use to express frustration- like drawing a line under a phrase to draw attention to it in writing. When no one’s paying attention, a few well-placed f-bombs can enliven the conversation, raise the stakes, or whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish.

    When people debating me say I lose because I cuss, then I know I am dealing with a mini-mind that can’t process information if it’s “bad”, and they can fuck right the fuck off. Sorry, YOU lose with you cower in fear with your hands over your eyes and minds, and I do whateverthehell I want, all day long. I also call men cunts, and white people niggers. Everyone should get a taste of what they deal out to others, and I’m not too soft to take my lumps either.

  21. 21
    tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach

    The only ‘polite’ use of fuck I have come across is ‘windfucker’, and old name for a Kestrel.

  22. 22
    Taslima Nasreen

    Fucking good blog.

  23. 23
    laconicsax

    Stephen Fry on swearing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_osQvkeNRM

    “The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is, in any way, a sign of a lack of education or of a lack of verbal interest is just fucking lunatic.”

  24. 24
    almostpundit

    I am fucking zapped

    1. 24.1
      mikmik

      Those Tazers fucking well hurt.

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