The “F” Word



I admit to having used the ”F” word from time to time, in my youth and hastily in periods of frustration, but I hate the “F” word.


One day I was walking past a small restaurant during the lunch-hour. Out of the restaurant came three, well-dressed women who were presumably office workers returning to work from their lunch break. As they walked behind me I could easily overhear their conversation. I was taken aback by their freely use of the “F” word in their conversation. I wondered if any of them had children and if they accepted that kind of language at home.


Of course, I hear the use of the word often. During my ministry at Sudbury’s downtown parish many people who lived on the street came through our doors for the numerous outreach endeavours we had to be an assistance to them. Some would use the word freely. I was always pleasantly surprised when one of them would use the word in my presence and then quickly apologize to me for having uttered it.


I am no prude by any means, but I become upset anyway by the use of this word. The entertainment industry today is first to include the use of the “F” word. I remember watching the late Comedian, Red Skelton, near the end of his life, sharing that he did not like the comedians who were eclipsing him for their use of foul, offensive language to get a laugh. A few years ago at a youth movie night I had chosen a feature without having seen it first. One of my more precocious youth counted the number of times the “F” word was used and told me that he was going to tell his mother that I had chosen a bad movie!


A couple of recent events have upset me. A couple of weeks ago I took my wife to see the movie “Dark Thirty Down”. I knew it was really not the kind of movie she would enjoy, but as it has an historical connection, she decided to join me. The use of the “F” word in the movie’s script is legion, well over 100 times, I am sure. By the time the movie concluded, that’s all my poor wife could comment on!


The most recent event was a CBC Radio discussion on the frequent use of a new term by many…”MILF”. With our society’s obsession with “the body beautiful” bringing huge financial gains to the fitness industry, many women who have given birth to one or two children have admiringly gone to the local gym and worked to get into shape to regain the physical beauty they had before the birth of their children. They take pride in their appearance. I am not upset by that at all. But, these women are now termed as “MILF” women…”A Mother I’d Like to F—“

According to the radio discussion, many women in that situation today like the term and do not find it abhorrent. I admired the woman in the discussion who reminded people that while the use of the “F” word “has softened” in today’s society, it is still a disgusting word and all kinds of disgusting connotations associated with it. I spend a lot of time listening to the CBC with the driving I do in this Diocese and I have to say that the once morally upstanding Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has succumbed to the “softening” of our society by much of the programming I hear today. There are times when in frustration at what I am hearing, I simply turn the radio off and drive in the bliss of silence!


Well, as I have said, I am not a prude and not innocent when it comes to my own occasional slip of the tongue and use of less-than-wholesome language, but the “softening” of society’s use of the “F” word has me rankled. We need to be reminded that it is a disgusting word, associated with all things disgusting. To be sure, we need to stop people who freely use the word in our hearing and remind them that there are far better ways to communicate!


 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”  Ephesians 4:29

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