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Fuckity fuck fuck

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 ‘**’ 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, “Fuck offâ€? expressed with appropriate nuance leaves you in no doubt as to what is meant. “Fuck meâ€? can express great surprise (like you’ve just won a million on the Lotto) or even indicate an invitation to become ‘extremely’ 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 ‘F’ word they have three choices – use ‘fuck’, ‘f**k’ or leave it out altogether. The principal concern, I imagine, is how the reader will react.

Let’s say, for example, that it’s an Irish Times writer, very respectable paper, very establishment, but with a whiff of rebellion about it, a bit of “we can be dangerously liberal if pushedâ€? attitude. The writer decides to use ‘fuck’ for impact, but to reduce that impact (in case any retired archbishops are reading) by substituting the letters ‘uc’ 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 ‘fuck’. So why bother trying to utilise the impact of the word ‘fuck’ and at the same time try to conceal the word – it’s hypocritical. Either use the word in its full glory ‘fuck’ or use another word like ‘feck’, ‘bejasus’, or ‘by golly’.

Just this week I read the word ‘c**t’ in a newspaper article. I wonder what that word could be? Perhaps ‘cant’, ‘cart’, or maybe ‘cast’? No my friends, the word intended was ‘cunt’. So why couldn’t 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 ‘fuck’, ‘cunt’, ‘shit’, well… you know… it’s 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. 😉

Anthony Sheridan

23 thoughts on “Fuckity fuck fuck”

  1. A gracenote to that would be the blogger I can’t remember who ironically writes fuck*ing cun*t.

  2. Totally gree with the theory of what you’re saying, but there are also some Web practicalities at play here. Lots of organisations (including the Irish government) restrict viewing of websites based on “use of profanity”. They use software that checks the website a person wants to view for preprogrammed words like fuck. This software doesn’t recognize f**k or sh!t. So some people choose to use these spellings to avoid limiting access to their sites.

  3. From a humble paid scribbler’s point of view, there is another issue. I can’t tell you the amount of times I or a colleague have had to go ’round the houses with an editor after filing by email and it never getting there – because some word that was used in the article tripped the profanity filters in the email system (to stop porn spam, presumably).
    So as a matter of course, as most people file from outside the building and media are increasingly careful of their IT systems, the dread *** is used more and more.
    But the instances in which fuck or cunt are used by a mainstream writer outside of someone’s direct quotes is – or should be – so extremely rare as to be nearly nonexistent.

  4. Totally agree with you Anthony. We are being patronised by the media and the “do-gooders” in society, surely it is time we were treated as adults but perhaps it’s asking too much too soon after all there are many media organisations which can’t even bring themselves to mention the numbers of people killed in recent and on-going wars, what chance that they can or will use the language of the masses ?

  5. The writer doesn’t have final say in what goes in though. They might choose to use asterisks to get through e-mail filters, or through personal choice, but it is editorial policy that decides whether or not to fill in the gap. More often than not, this policy will be indirectly decided by the readers. The Daily Mail will blush and cover up any nasty words; the London Independent, in its own words, “chooses not to patronise” its readers. If either paper diverts from this policy, outraged readers will write in by the bagful to complain.

  6. your website fucking sucks. i hate you and hope you burn in hell. i hope your dick gets wedged in a door and you die. Also, Roman thinks that ur fucking website is a pile of crap bigger than what was in his diaper this morning.

    Remis Baretta

  7. Hahahahah, I just laughed my ass off, whoever you are, you are funny, and so is Remis, hahahahahah thanks for the laugh

  8. ROFL, i propose remis be kept around for comic relief he is like a retard in a revolving door trapped forever in idiocy.


  10. Wow, what hilarity. I agree completely. It is interesting that some blame spam filters for what would appear in a newspaper article. It is true that spam filters might block out articles containing ‘FUCK!’, but maybe the writer could email or actually speak to the living, breathing editor-in-chief and explain that the gobblies were intended to bypass the spam filter? No? Am I stupid? Or maybe if it is a website that sends emails, then they could use gobblies in the email but use ‘FUCK’ in the actual article on the website? No? Am I stupid? LOL! What a FUCKING RIOT!

Comments are closed.

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