Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The "Eff" Word

Yeah, it's the one you think it is.

And I really don't like it.

Yes, I'm expecting a backlash from some of you who use the word liberally.  Bring it.

I think use of the "eff" word shows a lack of creativity.  And vocabulary.  And, sometimes, it just doesn't even make sense.

Like when people say, "Eff that sh**!"  Really?  Let's flesh out that exclamation.  

___(you)  |___"eff"   |   "sh**"

(Forgive the limitations of my keyboard in this diagram.  I can't extend the line between the subject and predicate, and I don't know how to tilt the text "that" in Blogger.)   

This sentence is a command or directive. "Eff" is the verb or the action word in the sentence. The understood subject, "You," is implied in the command.    "Sh**" is a direct object in the predicate of the sentence.  "That" is an adjective.

Okay, now that we know the parts of speech, let's look at definitions.  "Eff", in the most widely used definition, means to copulate or to have intercourse.  "Sh..." is poop, excrement, human waste, crap.

Now, let's put all the information we have gathered together.

"You go have sex with that fecal matter."

Ummm....exsqueeze me?  I think I'd rather not.  Apple pie?  Maybe (kidding!).  Poop?  No.

Or let's look at another common expression.  WTF?

Technically, it's a question and an incomplete one at that.  The missing verb is "is".  And "eff" is used as a direct object.

So the question asks... 

"What the intercourse?"

My answer:  "Huh?  What are you talking about?" 

And I won't even touch "effin' A"... 

It's crazy talk that has become culturally permissible or even lauded as empowering language.

I'm just stating my position on the "eff" word and its preponderant usage in our society.  If you are an adult, I realize you have a right to choose your own way of expressing yourself (when not in the presence of children).   We all make choices, and some of mine have been questionable, to say the least.     

However, I suppose I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to this word.  I really don't expect you to use it in my presence the first time I meet you (or the twentieth) or if we haven't seen each other in twenty years or in a business meeting or if I'm standing behind you in line at The Krogert. with. my. kids.   I'm talking about grown men glancing back at me and my children and then still choosing to utter the word with nothing but a plastic bar between our groceries.

Hello!!?!!?  That plastic bar divides our groceries.  It does not provide sound-proofing.

It's as though it has ceased to be an obscenity in their minds.  

Are people really that desensitized?  Have we really lost all semblance of common courtesy in public? 

It's still an obscenity to me.  It still makes me flinch when people say it around me.  I still think there are better and more creative word choices that are equally, if not more, effective in expressing disgust, distaste, or dislike.   

And now, please don't tell me to go have sex with myself.


  1. This is why we are friends. You are diagramming sentences in your blog. Love you!