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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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More on the Word Fuck

Comments (17)

I decided to add a new category to my blog called “Pet Peeves.”  Like most compulsive people, I have my share of these and I’m confident my therapist – if I had one – would suggest I share these with the world to get them out of my head.

I wrote recently about the NY Times falling prey to using the word “freaking” instead of “fucking.”  It’s depressing to me that the editors at this venerable institution would allow this to happen. Even if they were quoting someone (as they were) they should have said “freaking (sic)” to indicate they were aware of the erroneous word substitution.

This morning, I awoke to an email from Chris Wand with the eleven acceptable times in history to use the “F” word (which his email fondly responds to as @#$% – I’ll go ahead an use that usage below to try to avoid spam filters – oops, RSS doesn’t have spam filters yet, oh well – freedom of speech.)  Of course, I think it’s acceptable in virtually every fucking sentence, but I thought Chris’s eleven times were priceless enough to pass on.  If you disagree with any of these usages, please feel free to take it up with Chris.

11. “What the @#$% do you mean, we are sinking?” – Capt. E.J. Smith of RMS Titanic, 1912
10. “What the @#$% was that?” – Mayor of Hiroshima, 1945
9. “Where did all those @#$%ing Indians come from?” – Custer, 1877
8. “Any @#$%ing idoit could understand that.” – Einstein, 1938
7. “It does so @#$%ing look like her!” – Picasso, 1926
6. “How the @#$% did you work that out?” – Pythagoras, 126 BC
5. “You want WHAT on the @#$%in ceiling?” – Michelangelo, 1566
4. “Where the @#$% are we?” – Amelia Earhart, 1937
3. “Scattered @#$% showers, my ass!” – Noah, 4314 BC
2. “Aw c’mon.  Who the @#$% is going to find out?” – Bill Clinton, 1998
1. “Geez, I didn’t think they’d get this @#$%^ing mad.” – Saddam Hussein, 2003

So – next time – use the real thing – some of the greats in history have.

  • http://levinson.blogspot.com Peter

    Note from an art history geek. The Michelangelo quote should be dated 1508. He died in 1564.

  • http://www.tmarkiewicz.com/acceptable-uses-of-the-f-word Tom Markiewicz

    Acceptable uses of the “f” word

    As this was one of those miserable days when everything is goiing wrong, this post on the eleven acceptable times in history to use the “F” word from

  • http://www.tmarkiewicz.com/acceptable-uses-of-the-f-word Tom Markiewicz

    Acceptable uses of the “f” word

    As this was one of those miserable days when everything is going wrong, this post on the eleven acceptable times in history to use the “F” word from

  • Mike

    I added a few….

    12. No, I don�t want to @#$%^ anymore, I want to catch that @#$%^ing wave – Simon Atlee Dec 26 2004
    13. That soup is @#$%^ing great! – Viktor Yuschenko 2004
    14 My >@#$%^ers itch – 2004 http://poetry.rotten.com/testicle/elephb.html

  • http://superabile.blogspot.com/ Anna Bit

    very funny, ciao, have a good wed. anna

  • http://www.jodyreale.com Jody

    You forgot one:
    @#$% United – Everyone, 2005

  • http://www.ryanmcintyre.com Ryan McIntyre

    I’m reading I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, and there is a delightful passage on fuck, which I have excerpted below:

    “He’s like, ‘What the fuck are you, man, a fucking tree? You can’t move for shit, yo.’ Shit like that. And he’s a fucking freshman.”

    “What the fuck are you, man, a fucking tree? He said that?” Mike began to chuckle. “You gotta admit, Jojo, that’s pretty funny.”

    “Yeah, it’s cracking me up. And he’s been hacking and shoving and whacking me with his fucking elbows. A fucking freshman! He just got here!”

    Without even realizing what it was, Jojo spoke in this year’s prevailing college creole: Fuck Patois. In Fuck Patois, the word fuck was used as an interjection (“What the fuck” or plain “Fuck,” with or without an exclamation point) expressing unhappy surprise; as a participal adjective (“fucking guy,” “fucking tree,” “fucking elbows”) expressing disparagement or discontent; as an adverb modifying and intensifying an adjective (“pretty fucking obvious”) or a verb (“I’m gonna fucking kick his ass”); as a noun (“That stupid fuck,” “don’t give a good fuck”); as a verb meaning Go away (“Fuck off”), beat — physically, financially, or politically (“really fucked him over”) or beaten (“I’m fucked”), botch (“really fucked that up”), drunk (“You are so fucked up”); as an imperative expressing contempt (“Fuck you,” “Fuck that”). Rarely — the usage had become somewhat archaic — but every now and then it referred to sexual intercourse (“He fucked her on the carpet in front of the TV”).

  • Tom

    Really Funny, I enjoyed it alot, thanks for making me laugh

  • http://www.j-ink.com/blog/ j.

    i’m pretty liberal with my use of “fuck,” but “freaking (sic)” is a little overboard. If someone says “freaking,” it _should_ just be quoted as such. Not “oh, what they really meant was ‘fucking’ but they were afraid to say it.” trust me, once you have kids “freakin’” becomes a pretty common component of your vocabulary.

  • Reed

    Where did the ford fuck originate. some one recently told me it came from when british officers got caught fornicating with native women.
    i have also been told it was an original slave slang dating back to the roman times when slave were bought sold and bred an exact leniage of whom each female slept with had to be kept. so if one male made beautiful children he would be used more if all he or they produced were curs he could not use her again or he was goten rid of same with the female.
    so do you know whice is correct?

    Reed D. McPhail

    • Tillman

      The word Fuck comes was an acronym for the term Fornicating Under Consent Of King. Meaning the king gave you allowance for having sex and or reproducing.

  • http://www.maisonbisson.com/blog/post/10739/ MaisonBisson.com

    Another Limitation of LC Classification

    Right up front in the prologue of Ruth Wajnryb’s Expletive Deleted she quotes the following from Richard Dooling on the difficulty in researching “bad language”:
    The Library of Congress classification system does not provide a selection of …

  • JD

    I got something else I found pretty interesting about the so-called “F-word”. It seems that in england one of the old kings, I forget which one, passed a law for everyone to “get it on”, so to speak. The word “fuck” is actually a meaning of words, “Fornicate Under Cammand of the King”.

  • rashida

    THanks for the info , its great, as everyone thought here F____ing word meant Sexual action,, anway keep us updated more,,

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