Avert your eyes! F-bombs in story below!
Oh, don’t be so shocked. We see this sort of thing in the mainstream media all the time. You probably know the above better as WTF, MILF and LMFAO. Don’t forget OMFG, with adds the modifier FUCK to the popular textclamation: OMG! “Ass,” of course has become completely acceptable, especially on top-40 radio, whereas “asshole” is still one of the seven words you can’t say on television. The closest we might get reading a family newspaper is “A-hole.” Give it time. Jesse Sheidlower, Editor at Large of the Oxford English Dictionary, has written an extensive “historical dictionary devoted to the word fuck” called The F-Word – which is has expanded significantly in its second edition. There’s a fuck movement afoot.
It’s nothing new. Fuck has long tried to worm its way into polite conversation. World War II brought us Situation Normal: All Fucked Up (SNAFU) and the computer age introduced Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition (FUBAR) – the latter also the title of a popular mainstream movie about head-bangers who say fuck a lot. SHIT OUT OF LUCK has been around a long time, though not as long as SON OF A BITCH.
MILF is popping up an awful lot in the media lately, along with the more alarming GILF, where G is for grandmother, and more rarely, DILF for dad, though why bother since DILFs are usually the only people who talk about MILFS. There’s a band opening for Ke$ha this summer called LMFAO. And just try to avoid WTF. You can’t. There’s an eye-catching advertising campaign around Edmonton being put on by Carrington Homes. You know the one: A guy who looks like a young Bubbles and the caption “WTF!” The quick second impression is that Carrington condo prices are so fucking low that even nerdy guys with coke-bottle glasses who live in trailer courts and have always dreamed of moving on up will exclaim, WHAT THE FUCK?! and buy one immediately. The clever bit? WTF actually stands for “Whaat! That’s Free?” referring to a $20,000 condo bonus.
Carrington Homes issued the following comment: “We choose not to comment.”
K-97 pulled a similar stunt with yet another “controversial” billboard: _ _ CK YOU! Readers automatically filled in the missing F and U and the usual people who complain about such things complained. The joke’s on them. The missing letters turned out to be R and O as in ROCK YOU. Edmonton’s puritians were SOL for something to get riled up about.
K-97 operations manager Pat Cardinal says, “We knew it would be provocative, but when it was revealed, it was about what people actually think. We did get some complaints and all I can say is that we’re not really surprised. But it turned out to be a completely G-rated billboard.”
Pat gives hats-off to the brains behind the WTF boards, “I thought it was clever.”
What the fuck is going on here? Here it is: Deep down, buried in our primitive brains, human beings really WANT to say fuck. We need to. It relieves stress. You stub your toe and shout FUCK! and instantly feel better. Get cut off by some asshole driver, flip him the bird and shout, FUCK YOU! and you feel gratified. It’s right before an unfortunate road rage incident, but still, there was a blissful moment there. Recent studies have confirmed that cursing is good for you. including one in Time magazine here. Saying fuck lowers sensitivity to pain in desperate situations. It’s no coincidence that the etymology of the word “fuck” traces back to medieval German word meaning “hit,” according to Wikipedia, so it could be fucking wrong. Doesn’t matter. The human fuck-saying desire is obvious. The fake, substitute curses – frickin’, gosh-darn, gee-willickers – just don’t have the same effect. We need the real fucking deal.
I hope to live long enough to see FUCK in a newspaper headline. The Onion leads the way in the campaign of expletive liberation (at least in the Onion’s alternate universe) with gems like HOLY SHIT! MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON (from Our Dumb Century) or the memorable one they ran just one week after 9-11: HOLY FUCKING SHIT – ATTACK ON AMERICA. The mainstream may follow. Having Melissa Leo drop the f-bomb on the Oscars with basically no consequence is a good sign. It’s even better if you’re British. It’s cute when British people say fuck, even in polite company.
If only the rest of us could loosen up enough to let our fucks fly. That’s why the new sexy texty acronyms are so great.
The whole thing makes me ROTFLMFAO at the NFG attempts at censorship, which in the end is just a BFD, so GFY!