Because I Don’t Give a &%*#

Baby covering its ears and cryingOkay, bear with me here.  It’s not what you think. Really.

Has anyone besides me noticed the ramped up use of the F-word in everything from Facebook memes to the titles of books to television shows?  I think I first noticed it a couple of years ago, but it has seemed to have gotten extreme.  There are now popular books out there with this word in the title, lots of memes floating around, and it just has gotten to the point where I can’t go more than a few minutes online without seeing it.  That being said, I still don’t think I’ve been desensitized to the word, and it bothers me almost every time I see it.

Not that I haven’t used that word in appropriate conversations.  I think many of us have.  And I am by no means a prude.  I write erotic romance, for goodness’ sake.  I have described things in my books that would make people blush.  So that isn’t what bothers me about it.  I think it started out being “edgy” to use the word.  A lot of young bloggers did it, and it sort of caught on.  But it’s not just the young ones doing it now, and it is definitely not “edgy” when everyone is doing it.

I’m a writer.  I make judicious and effective use of words to get my ideas across.  As a writer, the use of the f-word may show that I am uncreative, unimaginative, or lacking in vocabulary.  There may be very specific instances when the f-word is the right word to use, but that should be so rare that the word, when heard, should have a very specific purpose, and create a specific type of feeling or reaction in my reader.  When everything uses the f-word, it loses any effect it might have had in expressing emotions.  Are we really saying what we need to say when the only word we can find to use is the f-word?

I suppose some people have been normalized to it, so it doesn’t bother them the way it does me.  For me, I have not been normalized to it.  It is a specific word to use in very specific situations, but not blanket-used.

So, how do you feel about the use of the word?  I know I have friends who completely disagree with me, but I also can’t justify using the word extensively when I have so many other words to use, which say things with much more detail than one four-letter word.  What do you think?


10 thoughts on “Because I Don’t Give a &%*#

  1. Yes, I think people are dropping f-bombs with far more frequency than they did a few years ago. When I was a young woman, I certainly didn’t go around using it, and if I did it was a big deal. Now it’s just part of speech with some young people. The times they are a-changing, though I can’t say if they’re changing for the better.

  2. I’m certainly not a prude, but I have to agree. I see it way too much on social media. It bothers me to see so many kids using it. I’m talking young kids. I wouldn’t want to see that out of my grandchildren and they know it. I also wouldn’t post it because of them. Our mini motto is, ‘be classy’.
    As far as my books – my heroes and heroines aren’t the type to use that language, but other characters may not have the same standards and intelligence. It slips in now and then.
    I’d never buy a book with that word in the title. My first reaction to it would be negative. I probably wouldn’t even pick it up from the self.

  3. I must be sheltered because I don’t see that word very often. Of course I write Regency and most of my contacts on social media do so as well so perhaps that is the reason. You don’t see the F word in most British historicals. 🙂

  4. I prefer to leave the “f” word out of the mix. My mix, that is, but like Sandra stated, there is one “F” bomb tirade used in my book from a fly by night character. I inserted it because that particular scenario actually happened to me when I was a newbie lawyer, and I thought I’d have my heroine deal with it as well. Nice post, Susabelle!

    • If I had a character who needed to say it, I’d probably put it in there. I just wouldn’t put the word in the title of my book, or my blurb, or my tagline… Just seems so overdone.

  5. As you said, it’s become so common it’s lost whatever power it once had – for some people. Not for me. I still feel like I’ve been slapped in the face whenever I read or hear it. I should be used to it by now, but I’m not. I’m not THAT old, and I was raised by progressive parents, but they NEVER used the F-word in my presence, and I have never used it either, out loud or in print. I’ve never felt the need. I’ve always found another way to express my anger, frustration, amazement, or whatever other emotion people use that word for these days.

    • I think we all know plenty of different words that could be used to express the emotion. I think it’s cheap and easy to resort to the f-word, but I am not cheap, or easy. 🙂

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