The F word became a topic of conversation following dinner with friends last night. (What, you don’t have conversations with people like that?) The F word is used everywhere these days by male and female alike, no matter what their age and stage. We see it all over the internet, social media and it is rapidly becoming acceptable on our TV screens (try Netflix), in the office, and has been used in mainstream movies and comedy for decades. The whole purpose of the F word is to shock us but what its users don’t understand is that it is no longer shocking but merely annoying. It has little or no meaning when it is used so commonly and frequently.
It is used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and a punctuation mark interchangeably. It is meant by its users to get our attention, to express some sort of shock or awe. But what it really is is lazy language. Rather than describe, articulate or make a meaningful point, we would rather use the F word to try and accomplish the same thing – lazy. It would have so much more weight to use actual language to make the point, so much more powerful because most people simply dismiss the F word and the thought around it. Consequently, what was trying to be accomplished is lost.
I am definitely not holier than thou so I am going to make a conscious effort to eliminate the F word from my own language choices. I will allow myself dispensation when whacking my finger with a hammer, although a forcefully used, “Shit!” may perchance make a suitable substitute.
BOOMER TUNE ALERT
There is no connection between the title of this blog and the title of this tune by the Righteous Brothers. I heard it on the way to the grocery store. Back in the day, it seemed like every dance seemed to close with this song. This 1964 offering was produced by Phil Spector and is usually thought of as one of his best recordings. Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley (cool name – I wonder if it’s real) had several top 10 hits including Unchained Melody. Their stage name came from a marine who used to attend their concerts and after each one would yell, “Hey, that was righteous, brothers!”
Lazy language is everywhere but wouldn’t it be much more impactful if people, ourselves included, actually used descriptive language to express their feeling and emotions to shock us? I suspect it would be. My sexism is going to show here but I still get a twinge when I hear a woman using the F bomb although I don’t think it makes it any more acceptable for a guy to use the lazy way out either.