The ‘F’ Word
Probably my most hated word is the ‘F’ word. Not the actual F@$% swear word. Just the “the ‘F’ word”. And as generations will often do, they tweak it and take the impact out of a word or phrase until it becomes a commonly used one.
What is really messed up, and why I hate it, is because if someone is talking to you, or relaying an experience they had – they can make you say the actual word. Here is an example –
“So the little Johnson boy got sent home from school today, did you hear about that?”
“Oh my gosh! Why?”
“Well he was in school and he said the ‘F’ word.”
And that simple last sentence makes you say the actual word in your head. You don’t repeat “the ‘F’ word” in your head. You actually think the real word to yourself. Now in some morally twisted ninja-like way they have made you as bad as the person they were talking about. (Yes, you are now as bad as the 10 year old on a playground.) You could have gone the whole day surrounding yourself with people that speak respectfully, and this one phrase just made you say the mother of all cuss words, like little Ralphie changing a car tire, without the other person having to say it.
My kids have tried to infiltrate the house with a variation of this. I’m sure everyone has done it too:
“I can’t find the freaking remote!”
“Who left this thumb tack that is now stuck in my flippin’ foot in the middle of the flippin’ living room!”
“This fetching lid won’t come off of the blue cheese!”
“Where the frak is Earth?!?!” (For the Battlestar Galactica fans)
“Flippin’ A!” (For the 90’s crowd)
There is only one word all those are subbing in for. But if your kid is smart, they will lobotomize you with one of the most frustrating conversations ever. They will act like it isn’t a swear word. They will tell you to chill out or calm down. Then they will make you explain just exactly what swear word you think they are trying to say. Depending upon your level of anger right about now you are either going to calmly explain it to them or just say the word and leave that awkward moment on the table. Now your kid has either won the argument, or you have taught them the real word because they were naive until 2 minutes ago. Both of which leave empty marks in your win column.
This almost makes me feel bad for saying ‘sucks’ around my mom growing up. Almost. Because my parents fought the battle with the word ‘bitchin’. Which means I grew up thinking it wasn’t a bad word. Now when my kids hear it they think we just swore. The moral? Words come and go, and the meanings change. If you wait long enough, you win. Just don’t lose the war over a battle.
In honor of Louis C.K.
Other Mormon posts found HERE.