I‘ve been bingeing a lot lately. No, not on the stuff in the bottle or can, but on cable TV offerings, and the one thing I’ve noticed is the use and overuse of the word fuck, even in British and European productions in which English is spoken.
(Actually, this one trend morphs into two with the proliferation of scenes of naked sex and the gratuitous scattering of nude bodies and appendages everywhere on cable TV offerings.)
Now most of us grew up learning through social osmosis the pristine meaning of the F word, which is to have sexual intercourse. Since then, however, the word has taken on a meaning and a power of its own, and is used as emphasis, insult or threat, and in negotiation, seduction, jest, violence, as well as .. well, the list goes on.
I have no way of gauging this next assertion — but fuck may be the most used word in the English language when someone wants to make an impactful point — so long as he or she is not on live TV.
Let’s examine the 26 words, combinations and accompanying situations for which fuck is the most natural and logical way of expressing oneself with verve:
F: Fatuousness (formerly family, but I guess people didn’t connect with “Ray Donovan”)
G: Guys and gals who won’t (or will)
H: Hell, however it reveals itself
K: Killing (with words or devices)
L: Love or loathing (is there a difference?)
P: Nah, I won’t use that one, so how about panic?
R: Reversal of fortune
S: Shit, however it manifests itself (another popular word these days)
U: Unloved, unwanted, unneeded — the unwashed
W: Women — oops, sounds sexist, huh? Instead, substitute worry
X: Xenophobia (prevalent among us Deplorables, according to Hillary)
This list is not exhaustive. If you have alternatives, please let me know. You’ll soon find how ubiquitous and adaptable the word is.
LATE NOTE: I just watched an episode of “The Leftovers,” and I realized that I forgot to mention the use and overuse of the progressive form of the verb — fucking — which is also a heavy favorite among screenwriters for cable these days. Of course, there’s also the expletive form of fuck, as in “Oh, fuck!” and “Fuck no!”, which in turn relies on the noun form of the F word. You see how deliciously complex this gets. You can actually learn parts of English grammar just by being so f–ked up, you have to swear a lot to survive these turbulent times.