F-Bombs

by admin on May 6, 2013

Newly hired News anchor A.J. Clemente drops a few curse words, including the f-bomb, and is fired.

If there really is a verbal “F-bomb” then our language has become a minefield of exploding munitions  of which we have become tone deaf.   I am beginning to no longer be surprised when even allegedly dignified people drop the word on television.   When I was a youngster, even into mid adulthood, the “f-bomb” was the nuclear warhead in a person’s verbal arsenal and only to be deployed under exceptional circumstances.   When you heard it, wow, you paid attention because the situation had to be epic.   We must live in constantly exceptional, critical times give how liberally the word is used these days.   And having expended the most potent word in our arsenal, there really is no curse word that exceeds it so some resort to repeating the word in the odd hope that a multiplication of bombs will somehow achieve the same effect as a single one did years ago.

Newly hired, and young, A.J. Clemente is a good example of how repeatedly using the word in normal conversation just leaked right over, unconsciously, into his professional communication.   What was “normal” talk during his non-working time shows itself to be difficult to avoid splatting out in his work environment.   Imagine being his co-host and trying to think of how to cover over that major blunder.

On April 20,  37-year old slugger David Ortiz capped a series of moving tributes and observances in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings with a brief speech to fans at Fenway Park, comprised of equal parts gratitude, fellowship and defiance. It also contained one exuberant f-bomb.

“This is our fucking city,” Ortiz roared during his remarks to the delight of the crowd.

The f-bomb is now linguistically a strengthening adjective.  People use it to give more “umph” or gravitas to their words.  While the FCC declined to penalize Ortiz for using the word on television, the fact still remains that our language has deteriorated so much that a coarse word for sex is actually used with pride to describe one’s hometown.  I still cannot refrain from viewing people who liberally drop the f-bombs as those handicapped in their verbal skills.  They lack the language to express themselves in any way but the most profane way (and easy way).

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Chefnutmeg May 8, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I’ll be honest, I got worse about swearing when constantly around those who did. Now, I’m rare to use it.

That being said, and being a Bostonian-I am inclined to agree with Mr. Ortiz, given the week we’d had at that point. If one f-bomb is all that was said, then that was highly unusual. I heard rants in the work break room that at at least six swears in them that week.

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Jaxsue May 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

When it comes to vulgar words, it’s interesting when cultures collide. My parents were raised in Canada; I was raised in the US. For us as Americans, “bloody” meant nothing. To my mom, it was a horrible word to say. Ironically, we could use Yiddish words that, if mom knew what they meant, would have horrified her. But because they had no meaning, aka no power, she didn’t find them offensive.
BTW, my parents forbade us to say gosh, golly, darn, or gee. We’d get a spanking for those! So, thanks to that degree of strictness, guess who enjoys a swear word once in a while? (not around kids, my family, or in inappropriate settings).
And, I have to add that I read at a very advanced level and have a huge vocabulary!

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Michelle C Young May 11, 2013 at 12:58 am

I was brought up NOT to cuss. Then I went to a church-run college, where cussing could get you into serious trouble (kicked out of class, perma-banned from class, even suspended from school), and so I did what I was taught – used the “approved” substitutes.

The kids at school laughed at me, when I would blurt out “Oh, my stars!” My sister says I swear like a sailor’s maiden aunt.

However, on those very, Very rare times when I have actually let loose with a swear word, everyone who knows me knows I mean business. Were I to say, “Gosh darn that man to heck!” people would know that I am irked. Should I say, “God damn that man to hell,” they’d be backing away, for fear of falling into the flaming pit that is about to open up and swallow the poor damned soul for eternity.

Although, now that I am over 40, I do allow myself to quote people accurately, rather than editing them so that they sound like sailors’ maiden aunts, as well. But there again, everyone knows that I’m quoting, and not swearing, myself.

My sister, who was also raised not to swear, but went to a secular college, where swearing was no big deal, swears when she feels like it, and for some reason, I always find it hilarious. I don’t find it hilarious when other people swear, just when she does. I have no idea why that is. However, if she wants a serious reaction, swearing alone will not get it.

As for swearing being a measure of someone’s intelligence/creativity/vocabulary, I don’t believe it. I have known too many geniuses to ever believe that. What it is, though, is socially inappropriate under many, if not most, circumstances.

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Enna May 11, 2013 at 4:06 am

This topic always seem to be popping up every so often. Langague does change over time. Thrity years ago racist and sexist jokes were common, if you took offence you were told “it was only a joke”. It depends on the situation I think.

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Jaxsue May 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Michelle, my parents/Xian college were so strict that even “Oh, my stars” got us into trouble! :-)

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