Hello, I’m the word Fuck, and I’d like to say… what the me?
There is a town outside of Massachusetts that has decided to ban swearing. Anyone who says me can get fined up to $20. This isn’t the only place in the country, either; there are bans all over the place. I think in Virginia beach there’s even a sign that has a few nonsense characters with a line through it to tell people: Don’t swear. (I don’t know for certain. I went there once with the word Felt once, but we spent all of our time at tourist traps.)
Well, to all of those people making these laws, I just want to say: Me them.
I mean, seriously? What’s so bad about me? I’m a word, just like any other. I’m in the dictionary for me’s sake! Of course, some people have even tried to ban the dictionary because I’m in it. Why are people singling me out? Don’t they know that I’m only a “bad word” because people keep saying I’m a bad word? It’s a nasty cycle. Someone says me, then someone reacts, and then I get banned.
There is literally no difference between me and let’s say the word “Giraffe.” Now, I know Giraffe, he’s a nice word, but seriously? What if I got angry and screamed, “Giraffe you!”? Or if I call someone a giraffing idiot? It’s the same thing. Giraffe may have a more innocuous meaning, but honestly now… we are both words. So who decided that Giraffe was ok, but I’m not?
Banning speech (namingly me) in public is just a strange step toward a stupid future like in that dumb movie that stars Sylvester Stallone where when a word that has been deemed as “offensive” is said they get fined. Also in that future: Taco Bell is the only restaurant still around, and Wesley Snipes is terrorizing everyone with his fake bleach blonde hair! That’s not a world I want to live in! (Although as mentioned, I wouldn’t be welcomed there, anyway.)
So take a minute, and realize that a ban like this is stupid. And I don’t hang out with that word often. By elevating language to something taboo, we create barriers that make it impossible to communicate. And words mean things because we give them that meaning. There aren’t any “swear words.” There are words that someone decided that were wrong, so everyone got scared of them for no other reason than someone wanted to create a bad word.
I’m not sure I have much of a point. Being a banned word gives me some advantages. I mean, I’m mostly used for effect, I’m not really required to hold up a sentence like some other words. (That The guy is so me’d.) But it also gives me a power that I don’t really have. I don’t change lives. I don’t cause illness or Satan worshipping. I don’t cause crime or teenage birthrates or the ears of toddlers to suddenly collapse. I don’t sit in a hollowed out volcano trying to think about destroying the world. You know why? Because I’m a word. And I only have as much power as people give me.