Dirty f-bombs dropped everywhere

Like a bee, the f-word has some sting. Recently editorial board members of the Rocky Mountain Collegian exercised their right to free speech by using it in a headline. The headline read: Taser this, fuck Bush. Even with the paper hot off the presses, people freaked out, calling the instance sophomoric and vulgar.

Most of you probably hear the word a lot. Some of you might even say it, but it can’t be printed because it’s taboo.

It’s a balance of change and tradition. More and more people use dirty words in everyday dialog, but it’s unacceptable to flash them about in large fonts in a published opinion piece. This is an absurdity because a column or editorial is a written expression of a personal view. If writers find one word more efficient than another, they should use it. Even if it unsettles some readers. And the truth is, the f-word can be pretty useful.

There’s nothing intrinsically dirty about the four-lettered obscenity. It’s “dirty” because people apply negative associations to it. The first time it was written down was in the 15th Century, and at the time it was in code because the word shocked and offended from the get go. Its of Germanic origin and it initially meant “to strike or to thrust,” a reference to sexual intercourse.

When it refers to sexual intercourse today it usually represents a more rugged, less symbolic view than “making love” does.

Through the years, people have chipped away its original meaning and squeezed new ones out. Dictionary.com provides 13 definitions of the word, ranging from ruining or meddling, to lacking concern or doing someone dirty.

The powerplay of the word is pulled from its link to socially inappropriate behavior: sex without love, screwing someone over, not paying attention. These are just some of its definitions.

The f-word is easily one of the most flexible words in the English language. It can be used as a noun: I don’t give a fuck; an adverb enhancing an adjective, She’s fucking brilliant; a verb, He fucked up; and a divider between syllables, as in that’s “fan-fucking-tastic.”

With all of these interpretations, sometimes there’s just no other word that accurately reflects what you feel. Some people think it’s a perfect divider to place between words when talking.

Others believe people only use the word to push boundaries, or because they’re uneducated and have a weak vocabulary. But really, the word is as useful and efficient as any other word. It can provide the perfect enhancement to an otherwise stale statement. “Fuck you” is a lot more effective than “I disagree with you.”

Even some of the best movies contain frequent use of the word. Among them are “The Big Lebowski,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Scarface” and “Boondock Saints.” For movies, the word can provide a realistic element, making dialog seem more authentic. Imagine extracting the word from movies like “Scarface” or “Pulp Fiction.” Picture Jules saying “I’m a mushroom-cloud-layin’ motherflipper, motherflipper.” The words have lost their edge.

The word is a part of our culture, and like all things in this world it is open to individual interpretation. Not everyone has to like it, but it is there to use. More and more, I’m blown away by the ridiculous absurdity of singling out a handful of words and excluding them from public use.

And even if the way the word was used was tactless and offensive, we live in a free society and offense is one of its products. The United States Constitution provides us with a First Amendment that gives us the right to air our opinion, whether it’s offensive or not.

The editorial represented more than a dirty four-letter word. It signified the importance of free speech. But instead of disagreeing with tactics, institutions silenced its message by cutting the lifeblood from its writers.

Like a bee, the f-word can sting. But unlike a bee, you can sting someone without dying. That is, unless you’re on the Rocky Mountain Collegian editorial board; in which case, the careers of those involved are decomposing as the advertisers of the paper pulled the financial rug out from under them, and the students almost lost their positions.

Often, writers tend to censor or edit original ideas in order to make it appropriate for other people.

This is good in practice, as it’s the goal of the writer to sustain the attention of readers and alienating them kills the cause.

However, politically correct verbiage is not always the quickest way to the point. Sometimes the most efficient way to gain readers attention is to use words that ruffle feathers and raise eyebrows.

A lot more eyebrows raise when someone trades, “I’m tired of being suppressed,” for “fuck censorship.”

I bet that stung.