Which 4 letter word do we use the most? The immediate answer which comes to mind is ‘Love’.
But I insist, think again. Think, what is that one word which you use most often throughout the various ups and downs you are subjected to in a day? On careful consideration, chances are that you will realise that the word most frequently used starts with ‘F’ and ends with ‘K’. Yes, it is the F-word.
The western culture has had a significant influence on our lifestyles. Surprisingly, it’s most overwhelming impact can be noticed not in our dressing sense or our taste, but in the choice of words we use to express high energy expressions like anger, relief, astonishment etc.
The transformation of the F-word, from being an abuse used as a sign of disgust, to becoming a cool, hip-hop, urban phrase is nothing short of amazing. I am sure whoever christened this word as an alternate to intercourse or coitus would have been the richest person in this and all other existing universes if only he had copyrighted the word.
There are three things that fascinate me a lot about the F-word.
First is the variety of its usage. Given its dictionary meaning, one would think that the F-word would be used in cases where people want to display their displeasure or irritation towards an action performed by someone else, or even by the user himself.
But like old wine, which redeems itself through the passing times, the F-word has also been redeemed by preventing itself from being typecast as a weapon in the armoury of a few hot-blooded brats. By extending its jurisdiction over emotions like pleasure, surprise, shock and even sympathy, it has generated fans among the uber-cool wannabe youngsters, which not surprisingly, covers a majority of today’s youth.
Secondly, by collaborating with them, the F-word has given a fresh leash of life to a few isolated words like YOU, ME, UP, OFF, HOLY. No other word comes to my mind which has been so open-minded and bold in having relationships with such a large collage of words. For all those who think polygamy exists only among us humans, think again.
And finally, the poor state of the Hindi version of the F-word. No matter how hard we try denying the fact, but the truth is whenever we hear a person use the Hindi counterpart of the F-word, the immediate impression we form about that person in our minds is that of an illiterate. Had the same person used the F-word, he would have been considered sophisticated and cool. The argument extends to other cousins of the F-word like MOTHERF@#$ER. Talk about double standards!
Whether one likes it or not, the fact of the matter is that the F-word is here for real. Use it or abstain from it, you cannot ignore it. Love it or condemn it, you cannot disregard it. For all the non-users, all I can say is by refraining yourself from the use of the F-word and its family, you are categorising yourself into a very rare species, one that is doomed to extinguish, sooner rather than later, from the face of this planet.