Monday, July 21, 2008

In Memory of George Carlin

Why is it wrong to use the word “fuck,” but it’s ok to use a term like “the F word?” What is a word? I think it’s an abstract concept composed of sounds when spoken and letters when written that represent and symbolize something we recognize. So if saying “fuck” is wrong, then it must somehow be wrong to refer to the act of copulation. However, “copulation” is acceptable, though perhaps not at the dinner table. And saying “the f word,” which is merely a representation of “fuck,” is also acceptable. So in the end, we have merely danced around a specific collection of ordered letters, while still conveying the exact same ideas, of which we were all previously familiar. So what the fuck is the problem here?

The confusion does not end there. This type of language is given a paradoxical categorization in common English vernacular. When you are a child, you are told that words like fuck are “adult language.” However, the minute you are an adult and attempt to use this language, you are considered “childish” in most circles. In fact, words like “fuck” are like marijuana: only socially acceptable in college, behind closed doors with friends who are “cool,” or on the “streets.” I, on the other hand, find this language to be the spice of conversation. It’s best in small amounts, but necessary for any kind of flavor. This is why I prefer “salty language” over “dirty language;” it seems a lot easier to swallow.
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