Do you have to use so many derned swear words?

This came in from the Contact Us comment form around 6am this morning:

Subject: A fucking suggestion
Message: Looks like you have the beginnings of a great blog. Just have this comment: Is it a requirement in L.A. that in order to be considered cool, you must use some form of the word “fuck” in every other sentence? I mean isn’t this getting to be passÈ? I realize that in our society “fuck” is going to retain some shock value for a while yet but while raking ones fingers on a chalk board OR TYPING IN ALL CAPS are also ways to get attention, I wouldn’t recommend them every fucking time you want to say something. Maybe there’s some feeling that by using “fuck”, you’re somehow linking into the psyche of the “average Joe” but that often seems pretty weak and forced to me(sorta like George W. calling Jesse Jackson “bro”). Besides all that, you seem like creative guys who can express themselves in more interesting ways instead of taking the “fucking” easy way out. Just my fucking two cents. Good luck with the fucking blog.


Where do I start?

Generally the “you are doing something cool but you should do it differently” kind of e-mails go straight in the trash. Sometimes, they get forwarded around to friends, but in this case, I decided the best thing to do was respond on here and let everyone else chime in as well. Besides, I wouldn’t mind hearing what other people think on the subject.

My first thought on reading this was that I must be really desensitized because I’ve been reading all the posts and didn’t notice the F bomb in every other line as this guy makes it seem. So I went and looked at the posts. There were 12 postings on the site at the point that he sent that in, and guess how many times the word “fuck” was used? Twice. In two separate posts, by two separate authors. That’s right, not a single person had used it more than once. I’ll take that one nerdy step further. Not including titles and “posted by” lines, there’s about 1677 words in those first 12 posts, only 2 being “fuck.” You do the math.

This guy used it 8 times, and only 3 of those were in reference to the word. The other 5 were some kind of hyper scary sarcasm or something. But that’s beside the point.

I could spend pages and countless links to pick apart this guys argument every step of the way. However, outside of this guy’s little word it’s not 1950 anymore and people just aren’t shocked by the word “fuck”, especially people who are reading blogs on the internet, and I think that’s pretty obvious.

What I do want to say, is that I say the word “fuck” when I’m talking. Regularly, and without hesitation. Most people I talk to, be they some guy in the gallery looking at the art, some reporter calling and asking questions about whatever project I’m working on, my landlords, my mom, the FedEx lady, the guy I bought coffee from this morning, all do the same. That’s the way people talk and it’s nothing new.

That said, I know that I, and many of the other writers on the site have had real writing jobs where writing “fuck” probably wouldn’t go over so well and we’ve had to tone things down for that audience. But that’s not the kind of environment I wanted to create on this site. I wanted a place where people could relax, and write just what they were thinking. “Fuck” or no “fuck.” And I think that in the whole one day the site has been live the contributors have all done just that, and I certainly don’t think any of it is “weak” or “forced.”

12 thoughts on “Do you have to use so many derned swear words?”

  1. You foul-mouthed fucking bastards.

    Maybe that suggestion was intended to induce commenters such as Poon and myself to overuse the word “fuck” in our comments. If that is the fucking case, I’ll be more than fucking happy to oblige.

  2. That fucking bastard doesn’t know what the fuck he is fucking talking about. I fucking mean, really, what the fuck is the fucking big deal with the word “fuck”? I fucking have no fucking problem with a few god damn fucks, as long as I’m not fornicating under command of the king, then fucking is strictly fucking forbidden. Even the fucking FCC will allow the fucking use of fuck, as long as it’s not fucking referring to actual fucking. If there was a real fucking problem with the use of the word fuck on this fucking blog, all the fucking posts would look more like this fucking comment.

  3. Well fuck that fucking guy,

    If fucking use of fucking or fuck is fucking too much, he should fuck that shit and go fucking read some other fucking blog.

    Like Kat, I am more than fucking happy to fucking oblige in fucking obstreperus use of the word fuck.

    fuck yours,

  4. You know, I think Sean makes a good point up there about the way we all talk to each other.

    I try not to cuss around my parents, or when I’m talking to my stepkids or their teachers . . . but that’s about it.

    I cuss when I talk, so I cuss when I write.

    I get where this guy thinks he’s coming from (I think) but I doubt if there was any genuine “advice” in there. Sounds like we may have been trolled.

  5. Something I found curious:

    “I realize that in our society ‘fuck’ is going to retain some shock value for a while”

    Is it just me, or does that make it sound like he thinks fuck was recently introduced into the public lexicon? And more importantly, my question to him–when will this “while” term end and fuck’s shock value disappear? Say it ain’t so.

  6. –snip—
    Is it a requirement in L.A. that in order to be considered cool, you must use some form of the word “fuck” in every other sentence?

    Ok, so of course it’s a ridiculous statement that you have to overuse the word “fuck” to be “cool” in L.A. (or anywhere else, for that matter). And while no one had actually done so in their posts here, several people did allude to using the word “fuck” rather frequently in everyday life.

    So I do wonder… do we really use “fuck” more frequently than those outside of L.A.?

    And outside of 10 year-old boys, I don’t know anyone who thinks using the word “fuck” makes anyone any “cooler.” Or am I wrong about that?

    Do people people who use “fuck” seriously sound more “cool” than those who don’t? I know plenty of (happily) uncool people who use “fuck” to describe everything and their mothers.

    The use of a single word does not a cool person make. And I’m pretty sure that people who do use “fuck” don’t use it to be “cool.”

  7. I think it’s unfair to other cursewords to single out fuck. Shit, god damn, ass and cunt to name a few can be powerful and shocking in their own right; and shouldn’t be made diminutive in the light of a single other somehow magically more powerful curse word. I say break down the barriers and make all cursewords as offensive as fuck!

    hell yeah!

  8. in NYC the word “fucking” is used as a substitute for “very” or “really”. i chose to bring it to helLA with me.

    this soup is fucking great.
    boy, it is fuckin cold outside.
    wow, this gallery is fuckin cool.
    i am fucking tired
    geeze, we get the fuckin point.

    think of it as an adjective that really drives home how you feel about something. would you rather have your gallery be “fukin great” or just “great”

    it’s kinda like all those chinese food places called “ok chinese” i’d rather eat at “fuckin ok chinese”

    my .02

  9. Why does no-one ever complain about the overuse of “the” or “a” or “and”?

    It’s always fucking fuck.

    What is the fucking agenda here?

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