April 03, 2007

One more F-word

The guys in Zits (3/30/07) are on to yet another F-word:

In my October posting on F-words, I moved from the primary F-words -- the Big F, fuck, and its sidekick fag(got) -- to two items that are fairly frequently alluded to by the expression "the F-word" (or one of its spelling variants), fascism/fascist and feminism/feminist, and then to a few items that have been occasionally alluded to by the expression: fat, finesse, fossils, forgiveness, folk [music], food.  In January I added Frankenstein (with reference to embryonic stem cell research).   Two of these, fascism and Frankenstein, came from the pages of the Economist, which seems to have a thing about "the f-word".  In fact, back in October, Michael Andresen wrote to point out that in the same issue (10/14/06) of the magazine that brought us the f-word fascism (with reference to Russia), there was an article with another f-word (with reference to Canada).  Prime minister Stephen Harper, an evangelical Christian, was opposing same-sex marriage:

In revisiting the question, Mr Harper launches his first big battle as prime minister with religion at its core. "It's the first time the f-word (faith) has snuck into the discourse," says Andrew Grenville of Ipsos-Reid, a pollster. (p. 42)

And now we have family [time].  No doubt the emotional content of the primary F-words makes the expression especially attractive to people and makes it especially easy to play with.  (Note: I am NOT collecting examples of the usage, just pointing out that there are lots of them, in all sorts of places.)

In a fresh twist on the topic, John Cowan wrote, back in January, to nominate farrago as the BEST F-word; see his blog.   It does have a nice sound, though my personal favorite is fandango.  But no, I'm not soliciting favorite F-words; talk amongst yourselves.

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Posted by Arnold Zwicky at April 3, 2007 01:27 PM