Saturday, 16 January 2010

The F-word

Why do I hate the F-word so much that I cannot even write it, let alone say it? It seems to me horrible that a word that should mean something good has come to express whatever is bad. Even worse is the way that it is used in all sorts of places that have nothing to do with its original meaning. It used to be used mainly by men - mostly those with limited vocabulary - but now I hear it even from educated women. The only hope is that, now that it is meaningless, people will get tired of using it.

It seems like a hangover from our Christian past, in which sex was usually sinful and always dangerous - as it still is for the conclave of elderly bachelors who rule over the largest of the Christian churches. It must delight them that so many people who have never even opened a Bible still pay lip service to this ancient doctrine.

Even when used in its literal sense it seems the wrong word. As a verb, it always has to have a subject and an object, when what it describes should be a shared activity in which neither partner is doing something to the other, which is no doubt because it was originally a male word, used by those who saw themselves as the only agents.

Which leaves us without a plain word for something important. I like 'bonk'. When used as a verb its subject is usually plural and it takes no object. Also, it lends itself to compounds, such as solo-bonk, duo-bonk, tri-bonk and multi-bonk. And it sounds rather comic, as should be the case for something so laughable as the activity it describes. Seriously!

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