“Well, I really don’t think there’s any word in the English language that expresses so many different things as the word ‘f…’ does. You know, you can use surprise. ‘Well I’ll be f…ked.’ You can use the word ‘f…’ to indicate anger. ‘F… you.’ You can use the word ‘f…’ to indicate dismay. ‘Oh, f….’ I just think it probably is the most expressive word our language has.” – Former Indiana University Basketball Coach Robert Montgomery Knight

Quit f…ing black cops or get booted from the Communist party,‘” – New York Times’ fashionable “T” magazine, quoting the opening line of Jonathan Lethem’s “Dissident Gardens,” August 25, 2013

WTF?

knight

Seems like a few folks are getting their knickers in a twist or their bowels in an uproar (if you prefer the latter) over the F-Bomb exploded in the stately New York Times this past Sunday, even if it is a direct quote.

Is this a first for the Gray Lady? Not really.

“In a recorded conversation later on October 6, Ms. Lewinsky said she wanted two things from the President. The first was contrition: He needed to ” acknowledge . . . that he helped f… up my life.’ The second was a job, one that she could obtain without much effort: ”I don’t want to have to work for this position . . . I just want it to be given to me.” – The 1998 Starr Report on the physical relationship between former President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Having acknowledged the precedent a generation ago, one may be prompted to ask: Is this yet another sign of the coarsening of our society? Have we become immune to this particular four-letter word?

Does this mean there will be no more “F-bombs” being dropped on once-shocked ears? Is the notion of the F-bomb antiquated? Do we mind, if our Kindern hear and use this word?

Years ago virtually every sports nut read John Feinstein’s 1986 Season on the Brink about chair-throwing and more-than-once-out-of-control Bobby Knight. Reportedly, it was the first sports book ever to make the New York Times best seller list.

Knight’s spoof television interview, egged on by a reporter asking the legendary coach why he used the F-word so much, was one of the key passages in Feinstein’s book. It exhibited Knight’s boorishness and his sense of humor at the same time.

Whether you condone or detest Bobby Knight, and everyone has an opinion about “The General,” one can see the logic behind his series of examples as to how the F-word is the most “expressive” word in the English language. It seems that everywhere you go; people are using F…ing as an adjective to modify virtually every noun. And don’t we all know acronyms that feature the word (e.g., FUBAR)?  Or people are substituting friggin’ or frickin’ for F…ing. You have to be brain-dead to not catch the parallel in two nanoseconds or less.

Even though I do not worship daily at the altar of the New York Times, I do NOT take issue with the editors directly quoting the first line of a book (if that is necessary to convey the story) or to allow the word to stand, when the paper decided to publish the Starr report intact.

nyt

Should this short word be regularly used in New York Times generated copy or worse, for banner heads? My answer is “no.”

Some readers of Almost DailyBrett may remember my piece asking whether the C-word (used by Bill Maher) has become the equivalent of the N-word (represented by Bull Connor). Almost DailyBrett made an unequivocal stand against both words, advocating that they be stricken from our national discourse.

Okay, so what are the distinctions among the C-word, the N-word and the F-word?

How long do you have?

The C-word is universally demeaning to women in every context.  There is no excuse for its use.

The N-word is universally demeaning to African Americans in every context. There is no excuse for its use.

These words hurt and they are meant to be harmful. Let’s get rid of them.

The F-word can be hurtful when it is used as an imperative as expressed above by Bobby Knight.

Should we be comfortable with the knowledge that the F-word is ubiquitous? I wouldn’t want it to be recited in first grade, let alone pre-school or kindergarten. Should newspaper editors or bloggers for that matter allow free reign when it comes to the F-word? Nyet.

My question to these editors and bloggers: Is this word a legitimate part of the story or is its use gratuitous as is the case in so many movies and rock concerts? If it is the latter, my advice is to exercise discretion.

After all, discretion is the better part of valor. WTF.

http://www.hark.com/clips/xgnhsfxrkf-bobbys-favorite-word

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5-akqjKzII

http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/ny-times-allows-f-word-113341

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qxu5cvW-ds

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/is-the-c-word-the-equivalent-of-the-n-word/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/08/26/nyt_fuck_in_apparent_first_new_york_times_publishes_jonathan_lethem_s_f.html

http://www.amazon.com/Dissident-Gardens-Novel-Jonathan-Lethem/dp/0385534930

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/75639.Season_on_the_Brink

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