F**k, F**k, F**k.
How did you read the first three words of this post? Of course, you read ‘Fuck, Fuck, Fuck’. So what is the point of putting in the gobblies â**â in order to somehow disguise the word and its meaning?
F-U-C-K as four separate letters has no meaning other than they are just four letters of the alphabet. But when put together they can have any number of meanings. For instance, âFuck offâ? expressed with appropriate nuance leaves you in no doubt as to what is meant. âFuck meâ? can express great surprise (like youâve just won a million on the Lotto) or even indicate an invitation to become âextremelyâ intimate.
So, you have an editor sitting at their keyboard doing what editors do, deciding what is the best word, phrase or sentence to convey a particular meaning or message. When considering the âFâ word they have three choices – use âfuckâ, âf**kâ or leave it out altogether. The principal concern, I imagine, is how the reader will react.
Letâs say, for example, that itâs an Irish Times writer, very respectable paper, very establishment, but with a whiff of rebellion about it, a bit of âwe can be dangerously liberal if pushedâ? attitude. The writer decides to use âfuckâ for impact, but to reduce that impact (in case any retired archbishops are reading) by substituting the letters âucâ with the gobblies ‘**’.
This choice and mindset is, of course, bullshit. Everybody, including the retired archbishop instinctively and without even considering the meaning immediately sees âfuckâ. So why bother trying to utilise the impact of the word âfuckâ and at the same time try to conceal the word – itâs hypocritical. Either use the word in its full glory âfuckâ or use another word like âfeckâ, ‘bejasus’, or âby gollyâ.
Just this week I read the word ‘c**t’ in a newspaper article. I wonder what that word could be? Perhaps âcantâ, âcartâ, or maybe âcastâ? No my friends, the word intended was âcuntâ. So why couldnât the paper just say so or use what it might consider to be a more acceptable word (unless they are quoting)? Obviously, the paper wanted to use the word for its impact but did not want to accept responsibility for its generally accepted meaning, so the word is disguised and in so doing attempts to transfer the use and real meaning of the word to the reader. The reader then becomes responsible for any negative interpretations of the gobblied word. “Hey, we just published some gobblies bracketed by two letters, if you automatically interpret them as âfuckâ, âcuntâ, âshitâ, wellâ¦ you knowâ¦ itâs not our fault.”
What do you think reader? Am I right? Is it really just a case of editorial cowardice or am I just plain wrong? If you think I am then ‘fuck’ you. 😉