Tuesday, October 21, 2008

F-Word Project

Friends, Readers, and Fellow Bloggers

There are a number of students I teach and interact with during the school hours at the all boys high school where I currently work. The problem is that some of these boys like to use the F-word: a word of which I am not fond. I am also making the assumption that your readers too are not fond of this word. I'm in the process of developing a list of alternative words for my students to use in place of the F-word and an assignment in conjunction with this list as 'punish work' for using the F-Word on campus.

However, everything I sit down to make a list of words for this project/task, my mind goes blank. This might be due to my dropping the word from my vocabulary. Part of the problem is that the students use the F-Word in so many different parts of speech: noun, verb, adverb, adjective, direct objects and indirect objects. About the only part of speech it isn't used as is a preposition, but I'm sure if I looked hard enough I would find a kid making entire sentences out of the f-word.

I am hoping you can help me compile a list of alternative words to use in place of the F-Word.

Feel free to leave a suggestion in the annotation box below.

12 comments:

Adoro te Devote said...

Here's what you do: make it academic. Octavio Paz wrote several pages, if I remember correctly, on the Spanish translation of the F-word. So, assign your students to do the same thing; analyze the uses, the conjugations, the purpose, the actual meaning under each context, etc.

Once it's academic, they'll never want to utter it again! Make it boring! (Although you probably can't do that in your position....a secular school could, though.)

http://www.mona.uwi.edu/liteng/courses/e29a/documents/sonso%20malinche.rtf

Paul Cat said...

I do want to make it academic to a degree. That does sound interesting.

Meredith Gould said...

How's this for charming/sad: I remember when "fudge" was the substitute word!

Jen M said...

Heehee, our priest uses "flip" as in "I don't give a flip." or "Big flipping deal." :) Also in common usage are "frick" or "frig." The real expletive is being used so much as a generic word meaning a superlative state that it loses some of its original shock and venom. The sad part is due to the sexual connotation, it cheapens the conjugal act into also a commonplace and generic thing, which is why so many people think that it is no big deal, and completely miss the intimate and unitive aspects.

Kevin Knight said...

Try to get them to start using the Greek word "skubala". It's a bona fide dirty word, taken straight from Philippians 3:9 ("For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as skubala.") Peter Kreeft once wrote that it's the only word in the New Testament that modern translators never dare to translate. They usually render it as "refuse", but its true meaning is much stronger than that.

As a cuss word, it works on so many levels. The only ones who get offended by it are the ancient Greeks, but you hardly ever see them around anymore. So skubala skubala skubala!

victor said...

Funk, freak, frack, frig... any of those will do nicely and credibly in place of fword.

Ray said...

flip
fudge
frick
frack
folderal
phlegmatic
fiddlesticks
funky
farcical
fumbleruski
phooey

And my personal fav...
phooey-ba-looey

Bob Gardner said...

acquaintance, ally, alter ego, associate, bosom buddy, buddy, chum*, classmate, cohort, colleague, companion*, compatriot, comrade, consort, cousin, crony, familiar, intimate, mate, pal, partner, playmate, roommate, schoolmate, sidekick, soul mate, spare*, well-wisher...

Or is the f-word you're opposed to not 'friend?'
:)

Sarah Murphy said...

I have implemented a "causes for cakes" jar in the Law Review Area because some of the editors having a swearing problem. Basically, if they cause they put money in and then I make cake for the next birthday. I don't think this in any way promotes a swear free zone. In fact it's pretty counter intuitive. So here is an example of what not to do. Hope it helps.

Sarah Murphy said...

And i don't know how to spell cuss so i spell it like cause...

nunya said...

OMG! You are so right! My 22 year old daughter uses that word as you said " ...noun, verb, adverb, adjective, direct objects and indirect objects." I wish I had thought of doing as you are doing when she was younger. Now she just laughs at my objections, though she does find it bothersome when I continually interrupt her when she is trying to tell me something. It kinda deflates her enthusiasm and she will start to clean it up so I will not interrupt her.

MaryH said...

Kevin, that's so funny. I can't stop laughing. I gave my answer on my blog
Here: http://www.brokenalabaster.com/2008/10/skubala.html

Keep up the good work, Paul. You're on the right track with addressing the nature of habits. Don't underestimate how powerful your example on non-swearing is.

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