The Evolution of the “F” Word. By Karen Hood-Caddy
Being a writer, I love words. So, of course, the ‘F’ word has always fascinated me.
If I told you not to say the “D” word, or the “L” word, or the “W” word, you wouldn’t know what I was talking about. None of these single letters have the power to catapult you to a particular word the way “F” slams you into the word “F*ck.” The only single letter that comes close is the “C” word, but a person who uses it might be referring to a life-threatening disease or an intimate part of the female anatomy, so there’s confusion. The “F” word has no confusion.
But the “F”, as Darwin would say, is evolving. And I’m fascinated with that evolution. In a way, evolution is my business. Whether I’m writing a book or working as a personal development coach, I’m catalyzing people to evolve all the time. It’s what I love to do.
As I coach people, I’m always amazed by the way Nature itself supports evolution. It wants us to change and grow. It’s the same with the “F” word. Not long ago, saying it was completely taboo. When I was a kid, I rarely heard the word and couldn’t have imagined ever saying it. But then the Sixties came along and the intensity of the times demanded a more muscular vocabulary. Like a tough guy in black jeans and a tight T-shirt, the word “F*ck” stepped up.
The word became “hip”, and even my friends started saying it to appear cool and sophisticated. Once I got over my initial abhorrence of even having the word in my mouth, I must admit, to my surprise, I found it satisfying to wrap my tongue around. The ‘fuh” sound at the beginning was releasing and the pluckiness of the ‘uck’ at the end of the word was gratifying too. In short, if you needed an expletive, I found that the word f*ck had a lot going for it. Saying it felt good.
Despite the fact that people started saying the “F” word, it seldom appeared in print or on screen. Traditional media censored the word, a fact Jerry Rubin and the Yippies capitalized on by painting it on their foreheads, knowing they wouldn’t be photographed if they did. So, of course, they did. And meanwhile, the “F” word strode confidently into the mainstream.
Nowadays, books like Mark Mason’s, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, fill the shelves. They show that the “F” word can be right in the middle of things. Even though, it sill has an * rather than the letter “u”.
When I saw the book, I could almost hear Bob Dylan crooning, The times they are a-changing.
Then I started reading Vishen Lakhiani’s Code of the Extraordinary Mind (great book by the way) and he waxes grandiloquent about the concept of being “Unfuckwithable”. Being “unfuckwithable” means you are strong enough in yourself that others don’t try to mess with you.
I’m glad the “F word has gone to this new phraseology. It used to mean only bad things: being f*cked, or getting f*cked-up, or being f*cked around.
But the concept of being “Unfuckwithable” is powerful and it seems only right that the “F” word would be the one to stand for that idea. So, the “F” word is still strutting its stuff. What will it get up to next?
Karen Hood-Caddy’s new book is titled, Find Your Inner Gold, 21 Powerful Tools to Bring Back Your Shine.