I remember a time, not too long ago, exclamatory marks (!) were used to exclaim and emotions were expressed through heartfelt intonations and vocabulary carved a picture for deep thoughts.
It was not too long ago (trust me, I am young enough to say so) before all of this was reduced to one word - ‘fuck’.
I marvel at this word, though it literally gives no scope for marveling at. I marvel nonetheless, at how multi faceted it is in its being, how versatile. It’s like those old pair of worn off shoes that are there for you in every season - a poor person's best friend; the ones with half torn soles and numerous holes. You can make them shine bright, but do they help? Do they save you from a frost bite in winters or the puddles in monsoon? That, is a different question all together. At least they are there for you to maintain your morale. One who doesn’t look close enough won’t even see the holes in them. You remain perceivably ‘competent’ with minimum effort; that’s the general idea.
Sometimes, I wonder if my awe is misplaced. Maybe it is just the ‘poor’ who have the extraordinary capability to stretch their shoes beyond its capacity. Taking a step, away from my sarcastic analogy, if I do not want to view people harshly as ‘poor’, one can sure see them as ‘mediocre’ and the brilliantly multi faceted abuses a sign of ‘mediocrity’ that the world has settled for.
Maybe we misinterpreted Robin Williams. He asked us to fore go our laziness and stop using the word ‘very’, from Dead Poets Society. He never asked us to find a substitute for it. Yet here we are,
Abusing the word,
“Fuck it” when you are unable to do something.
“Fuck off” when you can’t stand a person.
“Fuck man” when you are disappointed.
“Oh fuck” when you make a mistake.
Two words. That’s it. Our emotions can narrow down to two words. Use ‘fuck’ and ‘oh’, ‘man’, ‘it’, or any of the many syllabically impoverished words in various permutations and combinations.
A genius plan I must say; ingeniously unintelligible, genius nevertheless.
“Fucking _” when you have to put an emphasis
“As fuck” when you want to use some simile
It is convenient to a fault how this word is an all-rounder in adjectives too. Even though logically it might cause a confusion when one says - "you are fucking gorgeous" as to whether they imply that you are breathtakingly beautiful, or they are just throwing a compliment at you which means absolutely nothing.
Saying that language has lost its charm would be a gross understatement. It has, in fact, even become dependent on abuses for an ‘appropriate’ reflection of thought and there is no one to reflect over this disappointing aspect. Language is simply made to put a point across. A reason people give for putting grammar and vocabulary in the backseat, conveniently forgetting that there is a huge difference between putting a point across and putting a point across effectively. Having said that, I would not waste time emphasizing the charisma of the brilliantly spoken and written language. Many people, much more proficient than me have already done that. I do not expect everyone to share my love for language.
However, it baffles me to see that the decrease in vocabulary is now directly proportional to the increase in swear words.
It is a miracle to hear a person speak and not add one of these punctuations ever so lightly. ‘Freedom of Speech’ they say, I say it is ‘Abuse of Speech’. I agree that it is irrational to expect use of flowery language, however, is it irrational to save abuses for the sake of abusing only? Or are we too dependent on something as vulgar and distasteful as the swear words? Are we being the advocate of free speech or the advocate for the uncouth?
I will leave that analysis to you.