Does the F word have magical powers? Does it summon the wisdom of the gods as a tool to unify all people: the weak and strong, the poor and rich, the simple and brilliant? No. No, it’s just a four letter word that is abused and mistreated. I’ll admit a properly placed F word can be powerful or even funny, and if it’s said with an English accent, it can sound quite pleasant: (Englishman) “Oh, F word.” (me) “Ah, that’s so nice.” Unfortunately, the F word is often passed around like a baby at a baby shower. I’ve heard it used to fill in all of the positions in a sentence: noun, verb, adverb, adjective, preposition, a filler word that replaces semi-words like uh, and um and it’s even the name of a brand, FCUK. Granted, they spelled the word wrong, but when they came up with the name I’m sure they weren’t disappointed: (sarcastic sales rep) “Oh no, it’s close to a naughty word.” If you combined all the uses of this word you’d have a pretty confusing sentence: “F word F word… F word… F word FCUK.” It’s time we as a society stopped abusing the F word. It’s time we started treating the F word with respect. It’s time we started to give it a break in order to appreciate the many other 1000s of words in our English language.
What does the F word even mean anymore? I recently overheard a guy say: “So the F’n guy was like F’n stupid.” What? I thought the F word meant sex: (random guy’s statement changed) “So the sexing guy was like sexing stupid.” I doubt this random guy is trying to say this other guy having sex (i.e. ‘sexing guy’) is stupid in regards to sex (i.e. ‘sexing stupid’). Maybe if this was Sex in the City, but I doubt this guy I’m assuming is heterosexual based on his outfit and non manicured shoulder hair shooting out his shirt is upset about a guy not being a good performer in bed. In the second case it seems like F’n means “really”, but what is an F’n guy? Is it stupid? (changed again) “So the stupid guy was like really stupid.” What I find amusing is the guy calling someone stupid is clearly not the brightest bulb in the garbage. He even sounds a little like a valley girl: (valley girl): “She was like, you know, like stupid.” In these sentences, both the words ‘like’ and F word are wasted words; they don’t have value. They’re the celery of the English language. In fact, these words reduce the clarity of what you’re trying to say and make the sentence unnecessarily longer. Instead of: “The F’n guy was like F’n stupid,” just say: “That guy is stupid.” If you need a swear word say “That guy is so stupid he thinks the animals on the Discovery Channel are playing leap frog, but pausing to catch their breath,” but with a swear word… I don’t swear so I had to improvise.
I also recently heard someone say, “I’m going to F’ing kill you.” It was in a movie so it was okay. I didn’t witness a preamble to a homicide. Why didn’t the person just say, “I’m going to kill you!”? I doubt the F’ing means ‘stupid’: “I’m going to stupid kill you,” which I’m guessing is like choking on a clown nose to death. I also doubt it means ‘really’: “I’m going to really kill you,” which I guess means it’s making sure the person isn’t just “mostly dead” (Princess Bride reference). Maybe “F’ing kill you” means he’s going to kill in an extra mean way. If he just said, “I’m going to kill you,” maybe that means it’s going to be fast and without a lot of pain. Like it’s almost thoughtful how he kills the person. Maybe the killer will smile politely as he chops the person’s head off while he’s sleeping. If he were to “F’ing kill him” maybe it’d be like using a handsaw and the decapitation would be done slowly while the killer laughed disrespectfully and mopped up the blood with the victim’s best guest towels.
The most common expression with the F word is: “F word you.” Of course the real word being there is much harsher. “F word you,” doesn’t quite have the same affect. None of the previous options seem to work here; sex certainly doesn’t: “Sex you.” Is that a blessing? Go have sex. Based on the tone, this expression is meant to be a curse, but shouldn’t it be: “No F word you,” or to be more accurate, “Friend zone you!” That’s a better insult. It’s a curse and explains why some guys can’t meet girls: (young male): “Oh no, my classmate’s curse from grade 1 stuck with me. I’m forever friend zoned.”
Comedian David Crowe says the appeal of the F word is the soft F sound at the beginning and the harsh K sound at the end. It’s like a whip. There has to be more to it though because if you put in an ‘n’ it loses force; (person 1) “Funk you” (person 2) “Oh yeah, hard rock you” (person 1) “Well, adult contemporary you.” This theory also doesn’t carry if we replace the F word with another word for sex like boink; it starts with a soft ‘b’ sound and ends in a harsh ‘k’ sound: “So the boinking guy was like boinking stupid!” “I’m going to boinking kill you!” “Boink you!” Not really threatening… and makes you sound special.
Clearly I’m not a fan of swearing, but why is it considered wrong to swear? The Christian tradition is definitely against swearing, but there is no set rule against it or a definition of what a swear word actually is in the Bible. One of the most relevant verses about swearing is: “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Eph 4:29) Thus, Christians are supposed to avoid any language that hurts or offends people, which means what we say depends on the audience. We may not mean to be rude, but saying “Boink you” (trying to start a trend), for instance, if offensive to someone, should be avoided in front of him or her. Similarly, we may not see the F word as bad, but we need to be careful with whom we use it. It’s like smoking. With smokers, smoke away, but with non smokers be courteous and try to blow the smoke away from them. You may not have a problem with it, but to act in love we need to be thoughtful even with the words we use.
This week may you show love to those around you by using uplifting words and doing your best not to use those that are offensive no matter how boinking stupid they may be to you.
Rev Chad David, Emotional Sex, emotional tune up