The F-Word

Recently I had to listen to a series of tapes for something.  While I can’t quote from them, I’d like to present a fictional bit of dialog that gives the general flavor.

“Did you close the fuckin’ door?”

“Yeah, baby.  I closed it.  Don’t fuckin’ worry about it.  Could you help me put away the fuckin’ groceries?  I got your favorite fuckin’ ice cream.”

“Fuckin’ A!  That’s great, sweetheart!  We can fuckin’ eat it while we’re watching that new fuckin’ movie by Micheal Bay.  Think that’d be some fuckin’ fun?”

Now, I’d be the first to say that my general speech is not drawing room fashion at all –at all.  But after listening to several hours of the aforementioned dialog, I just want to limit my vocabulary to the mildest of Mauve Decade euphemisms. No, not out of prudery, but because the Heavy Seven have been overused to the point of not delivering their original intent – shock value.  The f-bomb[1] is no longer shocking or anything in many contexts.  It’s just boring and tedious.

As a writer, I’m all about using language to deliver an emotional impact, mind you.  The thing is, shock value of any sort requires judicious usage.  If I called someone “cupcake”, ferinstance, every single time I’d been vexed, it would have no impact.  However, it’s a well-known verbal tic of mine that people know gets used when a serious line has been crossed.  The rarity value gives it its power.

I’m not saying swearing doesn’t have its place.  It does.  But after the last few weeks, I sure have decided I want to do it a bit less!

[1] Not that I’d never use the word, but how often would you use it if you limited yourself to discussing copulation, in which case, it might be le mot juste.

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