I’m not sure from what well people are drawing their ‘f’ words. I drained that sucker dry in the 90’s. I elevated the use of the ‘f’ word to new heights of artistry.
I could answer yes or no questions with an ‘f’ bomb and my people knew what I meant by my intonation. It was glorious.
Do not get the wrong impression. I am not a cool person. Never have I ever been cool. I wasn’t trying to be cool then, nor will I ever make an attempt.
I just liked the buttery way the ‘f’ word felt on my tongue. I liked the way it rolled around in my mouth. I had a rollicking romance with the ‘f’ word. When we broke up, I grieved. I still daydream about it sometimes.
If I’m really honest, in moments of heated passion, I still cheat on my creativity and drop an ‘f’ bomb now and then. And I don’t regret the occasional resurrection.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to use the word.
Mark Twain likened the difference between the right word and the almost right word to the difference between lightening and a lightening bug.
I’m a lover of words. I’m not afraid of any word, and I’m not shy about using them. I’m not a fan of censorship. It’s just that once something gets overused, it becomes boring and loses its impact.
The ‘f’ word is very powerful. If you overuse it, it’s just another snoozeworthy cuss word. Ugh. And thus, as much as I hated to say goodbye, I had to kill my darling ‘f’ bomb.
Nowadays, it’s everywhere.
Maybe it’s part of the wave of 90s trends coming back, but guys, just like hair scrunchies and mom jeans, just… no. Some ships, once sailed, just need to sink.
We can do better
Honestly, as a writer (and a speaker, for that matter), I find cussing uninspired. It lacks creativity. There are so many incredible words in our language to choose from! Yet we always resort to the same boring pejoratives.
I generally find cussing lacking in creativity, except when writing dialogue, because it’s how people actually talk…
I’m veering dangerously close to a really boring tangent on writing, so onward!
A note on clichés
Oh, how I love a good cliché. I use them every chance I get. Let me tell you a little story…
Once upon a time there was a college girl who kept getting the same comments written in red ink at the top (or sometimes the bottom) of her papers, in every class, regardless of the subject, from every professor, for four long years: “Too many clichés.”
Whereas many students would have taken this as indication that something in their writing needed to change, this particular girl saw it as a challenge. She thought, “Too many clichés, you say? Watch this!”
I’ve never met a cliché I didn’t like. It’s all a matter of how you use them.
The ‘f’ word is no different. When used correctly, it truly is a work of art. But alas, we can’t all be artists, and thus, I don’t use it much anymore, nor should the vast majority of the population.*
A note on cussing in general
I don’t cuss on this website, because I want it to be user friendly for people of all ages. I want someone to feel safe forwarding my posts and pages to their teenage daughter or son or niece or nephew or whatever.
That being said, on my social media I do sometimes share links to articles with cuss words. This is because not everyone shares my approach, and at Redefining Love we believe we can learn from a diversity of voices, even those who are different from our own.
There are many instances where we’d miss out on really great information if we avoided articles simply because it contained cuss words.
So, browsers beware. If you click on a link on a Redefining Love page that does not bear the Redefining Love copyright, I can’t promise it doesn’t have cuss words.
It’s okay. Last I checked, nobody ever died from an ‘f’ bomb.
*Yes, I did just rant about the ‘f’ word being cliché, and then say that I love clichés. Yes, I know I am contradicting myself. Yes! This is my right as a writer. Yes! I have justified this in my twisted writer’s mind by telling myself that clichés are each a tiny microcosm containing a cultural reference with their own interesting history and if given enough time I could write an entire dissertation on this subject because that is just the sort of nerd that I am so leave me alone already!
published June 17, 2019
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