Interesting to note that the violent origin of the word has made a comeback. Here in the US, I've heard kids say things like, "If you don't give my money, I'm going to fuck you up." Sex is not what they have in mind.

The word has power. Part of its power is its ability to threaten.

When I was teaching new hires how to write reports about workplace harassment, I sometimes came across overly timid writers concerned about professional standards. They would write sentences like, "The manager then swore at her." This does tell the investigator as much as, "The manager said, "Fuck you!"

It's a terrible word, but sometimes it all depends on context. Glad you wrote this piece, Mike. I'll fight to the death against government censorship, but I agree with you. A little self-censroship might do us all a bit good. As my old English teacher used to say, "First language goes, then everything goes."

Fiction & cultural commentary with a personal twist — by a writer from the Deep South with roots in print & broadcast media.