14.8.12

F-Bomb, Baby!

The irony is fairly plain to see.  The people who use the term "F-bomb" are highly unlikely to consult the Meriam-Webster dictonary where it is now listed.  I've ranted about the use of this term before, but since it obviously fell on deaf ears, I'll do it again.

"F-bomb" is the term given when someone says or writes "fuck."  Kory Stamper, an associate-editor for Meriam-Webster, says that the word is "visually evocative" and is "going to cause a lot of consternation and possible damage."  I suppose saying "fuck" (or hereby known as the "F-bomb") could cause some political or economic damage depending on when and where it is used, but ... a word is not a bomb.
At the left here is a victim of a bombing.  It looks fairly painful.  That black stuff is charred flesh.  A word did not do this.  An actual physical object did.  A real bomb.  You know.  Like the IRA theme song that goes, "We like the cars/The cars that go 'boom!'"  (This is not a car bomb victim, though.)

Terrorists strap explosives to themselves and enter discos and outdoor cafes and then detonate them.  They don't run into a crowded theatre and start yelling, "Fuck!"  It would be fairly ridiculous and highly ineffectual.  If "fuck" could actually kill people, our government could save a ton of money on its defense budget, and people would most likely have to wear muzzles. 

People who use the term "f-bomb" think they know the power of words.  They don't.  They know misdirection and the illusion of safety supplied by the euphemism, and they are happy to let themselves be fooled.  I've never met a self-respecting adult who has used it in a non-ironic way.  I've met plenty of frat boys and parrot-people who toss it around, but an intellectual?  No.

I don't blame Meriam-Webster for including it in its pages.  I lament the fact that it ever made it that far in the first place.  It won't change how I deal with the phrase, which is to look at whomever used it with a puzzled expression as if I don't know what he is talking about.  I will say, however, that if the "F-bomb" did as much damage as the name implies, I'd be tossing it in his direction.  They can fucking bet on it.

3 comments:

DJ said...

I LOVE this entry.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

Words have meaning. You get that.

Anonymous said...

This is a very intellectual post.