Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 14:17:17 -0500 From: Jesse T Sheidlower 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. > > Grant Barrett > gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 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. Jesse Sheidlower