Full name Professor Subject Date The F-Word Since it is considered to this day taboo and because of the huge fine for indecency by the Federal Communications Commission, the chosen F-word could not be spelled out in this paper. The word is commonly used by people nowadays despite its meaning and implication about the speaker…
The F-word, Jesse Sheidlower, editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary and editor of the 1995 book “The F-Word”, reveals that the word has been first printed in a “text around 1475, in a poem that more or less said the monks of Cambridge did not go to heaven because of their sexual dalliances with women” (Achenbach). Its etymology is traced to words such as the Middle Dutch fokken, Germanic term ficken, English firk and Scottish fukkit, all associated with sex. The original definition of the F-word is “sex with violence and pleasure with pain” (Stephey). Although the word implies pleasure which should not be an embarrassing experience, it actually is a private affair where the pleasure is achieved by exposing private parts- something that no one would definitely want to perform in public. Understandably, the F-word has a sexual connotation that it makes people stare at or get offended by those who use it. Some intelligent people who did not want to use the word directly used it in acrostics such as “Fornication under consent of the king” and the popularly known Irish police blotter inscription “for unlawful carnal knowledge” (Stephey). ‘Fornication’ and ‘carnal’ clearly imply sexual acts which for generations has been a subject matter that remained closed to discussion. As sex is to be performed in private places at private moments, the word should also be treated with such respect and privacy. Nevertheless, with the prevalence of movies, songs and other literary works and artists uttering the word in public, the F-word has become a common word pronounced by almost every individual from different walks of life, regardless of where they are. The word perhaps got into the limelight when highly respected political figures used the word repeatedly as opposed to what was expected from them. George Bush is known to have used the word openly before he was elected president and his vice president, Dick Cheney, also used it on the senate floor. “No one is shocked that these people use such language but as statesmanship, it’s not exactly Lincolnesque” (Achenbach). This declaration shows tolerance to the verbal pronunciation of the word by anybody, whether popular or ordinary figures however, there is also the recognition of a line that should be drawn when saying the word. First and foremost, the aforementioned politicians are educated people who are expected to act and talk as well-mannered individuals. Thus, Achenbach coined his word “Linconesque”, pointing to the revered statesman, Lincoln and mentions that the actions of the two politicians mentioned earlier are not in line with the example the former showed. On the other hand, the statement that no one is shocked with their use of the word shows that it is well-understood because it is a human word uttered by human beings. Although Bush and Cheney are politicians, they are also human beings who have similar needs as other people. Therefore, it does not come as a shock when they are heard saying the F-word however, they should have been more careful in their utterances because it still is considered a private word, having an explicit sexual connotation (Achenbach). Nevertheless, there is also the consideration that “the reason why it is used so often is because it has escaped the bonds of its sexual origin” (Achenbach). When Cheney told a Democratic senator to F_ _ _ himself, he ...
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