Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 14:17:17 -0500
From: Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM
Subject: Re: offensiveness of "fuck" (was: a bunch of other stuff)
Tom Head wrote:
Seriously, the "F" word is offensive in almost any context...
I don't agree, and I'm sure my disagreement is the result of different
socialization, possibly due to age or peer group. "What the fuck" and
"fuck me" (as in "I can't believe how I just is just got screwed") are
utilitarian and hardly show up on my sensitivity meter. Jesse's book
has several uses of fuck that are fairly generic, to me, at least.
gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]dfjp.com
The most instructive example of this in recent memory is found in
successive editions of Pamela Munro's _U.C.L.A. Slang_ volumes.
The first, in 1989, categorized lexemes by offensiveness, with, for
instance, fuck, fuck me, fuck you!, fuckface,_ as well as _lick me!,
fuzz bumper 'female homosexual', slag 'ugly girl', and other all
placed in angle brackets indicating that they (or their referents)
are considered offensive.
By _U.C.L.A. SLANG 2,_ in 1993, the students (all editorial decisions
of this sort were made by her students, not by Munro) concluded that
"words of the first type [sc. sexual and scatological terms] are now
so commonly used on campus, by such a wide cross-section of students,
that there is no need to mark almost any of them as offensive." The
words in this volume that get the angle brackets tend to be derogatory
terms for other people, e.g. _fish_ 'woman (in sexual contexts)',
_flamer_ 'stereotypically homosexual male', _quad_ 'uncoordinated
person' (fr. _quadriplegic_), etc.
jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]panix.com