What’s wrong with the f-word

Frequent use of the f-word, and others like it, is in public discourse everywhere: peppering our daily conversations, the dialogues on TV shows, the shouted lyrics on our music, and the scripts in our award-winning movies!  The f-word was even used, abbreviated, in a promotion campaign for a major brand of software.

Why is the f-word and others like it so popular?  The main reason is that the user releases emotions and frustrations by saying it.  It says “I have strong emotions of anger and frustration right now, and I am not afraid to show it!”  Since so many people are angry and frustrated, the word helps to express those feelings.  It is also a shortcut for other statements: ” I’m a bad boy/girl”, “This is a great experience,” “Go away, I don’t like you!”

But too frequent use of the f-word is a bad habit and I am saying it must be reduced.  Let me tell you why.  Frequent use degrades the power of the words to repel and shock, which is their purpose.  Frequent use adds sharp and ugly audio notes to the messages that are otherwise supposed to be conveyed, detracting from the chances they will be understood.  And frequent pubic use exposes young people to the words, well before they are of legal age and old enough to hear them.

Why not say it another way, that really says what you mean, and raise the tone of our conversation space?


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