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The “F” word: Give it a rest!

co-dictionary-thesaurus.JPGIt’s a New Year. How about a resolution of a different kind?

I get dozens of e-mails, bulletins, notes, jokes, “funny” surveys, cartoons, etc., replete with, overflowing with, saturated with: The “F” Word.

It’s a word. It’s in the dictionary. It means something (with many degrees of stress and passion). It doesn’t mean everything. It doesn’t suit everything.

I attend many events, many interesting, wonderful and creative events with political and social activists (experienced and novice), civic leaders, artists and writers, and fellow members of this community who have powerful messages. We have words for those messages. But when too liberally laced with profanity and vulgarity, the balance of that word power shifts, and we lose the interest, respect and attention of the very people we are trying to reach.

I move about many areas of the city, in and out of stores from WalMart to Kmart to Krogers and myriad others — to say nothing of restaurants and diners too. I watch and listen as adults pepper their language with vulgarity while chastising children for their childish verbal sniping. Yet children are merely mimicking the attitudes and behaviors — and language — of the adults surrounding them. Learn by example. But when the example is a daily onslaught of vulgarity and profanity, what do you think your children will learn?
The “F” Word.

It’s severely overworked. It’s overused and abused. Give it a rest.

If we are intelligent enough to be artists, writers, activists, lobbyists, concerned citizens or loving parents , we should be intelligent enough to make it through the day without using the “F” word to punctuate every sentence, or modify every noun or verb. It’s no an all-purpose adjective.

Yes, it’s a word that has power. Shock value. Punch. It’s also a word that can get to be unpleasant habit, so if you are going to use it, be conscious of it and use it, if you must, when when you can make it count. Don’t wear it out.

Most of us are too intelligent to be lowering our standards to a level in which the “F” word is as common as coffee grounds. It is cheap, demeaning and devalues every other word it is attached to. It makes the user seem just as “cheap.”

When I hear it (and all its permutations) repetitively in conversations, I leave the group. And I am saddened when I hear mothers and fathers using it so frequently around their children that these youngsters are taught that it is acceptable. The rude awakening won’t come until later, if ever.

When I get a post or e-mail with the “F” word and it appears more than once, (sometimes if it appears just once) I hit the delete key. If I get a comment with the “F” word (and/or a few other vulgarities) I hit the delete key. If I get too many from the same author, I delete the author.

The “F” word. Give it a rest. It’s tired.



  1. I disagree with you. You insinuate that the use of vulgarity corresponds to lack of intelligence and I find that to be far more offensive then the use of “the f-word”

    While I agree that it is disappointing to hear adults use it around their children, I don’t hear it around town often enough to post a public opinion piece about it. My opinion is that you may be overly sensitive.

    Editor’s note: Edited for tone and to remove a negative comment about author. Bubber you are lucky I posted this at all. Attack the issue, never the person is a rule you must follow while here. – Bill Larson, Publisher

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