NY Times Decides “Freaking” does not equal “Fucking”

The noise about RSS bandwidth jams finally made the NY Times today. However, that’s not what this post is about.

In the article, the NYT quotes blogger Steve Main who writes on his blog. “The whole purpose of an RSS aggregator is so that I don’t have to open my freaking Web browser to 100 different pages. By having the content right there in my aggregator, I can skim an entire article in the time it takes to open up a new Web browser. By not including full content in the RSS feed, you take away some of the productivity gains that RSS offers.”

Steve’s point is right on the money. But why did he say “freaking” instead of “fucking”. And when did “freaking” become an acceptable and uncensored substitute for “fucking” as an adjective? Now, I’m not an editor, nor do I want to be, but when I hear 10 years olds walking around saying “freaking this and freaking that” I’ve just got to wonder. I’m also not a prude – I can use the various forms and usages of the word fuck with the best of them. Freaking is just such a lame substitute for the real thing.

  • http://bigben.blogs.com Ben Casnocha

    Good post. In 7th grade in a public speaking class I gave a speech on how I could say “screw” in public but not “fuck” even though they mean the same thing. Why? Did someone just decide certain words were “bad” and others OK? Despite the point of the speech, they still didn’t let me use the word “fuck” during the speech. So every time I wanted to say that word I held up a sign that had F*CK.

    I agree… fuck is the most flexible word in the English language. The best use of it is Bobby Knight’s halftime speech during one of his games. 30 sec audio clip: http://users.rcn.com/pkatcher/audio/BobbyKnightTirade.mp3

  • http://www.fanprints.com/blog Derek Scruggs

    Yeah, “freaking” sucks, but it’s way better than “stinking

  • http://www.MessageCast.net Royal

    Probably right around the time “darn” and “shoot” were substituted in more, uhm, etiquette sensitive situations.

    P.S. Re: Full content feeds: This is an issue that I feel like I’m missing the boat on. Everyone loves this — kinda in the same way as everyone loved “free” Napster music. At some point, content providers have to get paid, don’t they? Either you come to my site so I can show you ads… or I’m not going to give you free content.

  • Bill Munch

    One can’t say, “What the freak.” Or, “Go freak yourself.” Or how about, “Wanna freak?” Ah, the language. I’ll just close with — I really do give a freak about this issue, as inane as it may be.

  • Dave Jilk

    How entertaining that the one time I’ve seen you concerned with sloppy use of English and the resulting evolution of the language is with respect to an expletive… I guess it’s your chance to pay back all of us who have corrected you all these years!

    How about what Bomber used to say: “Oh, foot!”

  • http://dabbler.typepad.com/ooze/ David

    Hate to contradict you guys, but “freak” has been fairly common slang for “fuck” for a few years now. See http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=freak&r=f for a printed definition, or any of many songs (http://www.anysonglyrics.com/lyrics/j/jodeci/freak.htm for one), etc. Of course, it probably took on that meaning as a result of having been used as a “safe” alternative, but there you have it.

  • liejjse3@yahoo.com
  • Avery

    you guys are stupid, if freak meant fuck, then i guess there is such word as fucky. super fuck, super fuck, shes super fucky? haha

    • Funkadacious

      There's the technical term "Freak" or "Freaky", those meaning something along the lines of being scared, but "Freaking" is something I hear a lot of, and if it's not an alternative for something else, why would they say it?

      Criticism isn't credit to team.

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  • Supriya_f_ck

    fuck off guys…!

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