I am not a prude, but I am getting very tired with the frequency that the F-word is tossed about these days.
It's not just groups of teenage boys on trains who use it as an adverb and adjective ("and then I f***ing told him to get me a f***ing bucket of f***ing chips, but he said I had to f***ing give him some f***ing money to f***ing pay of them"). I hear it everywhere. Two businessmen walked past my desk the other day for a sum total of five seconds, and both of them dropped the F-bomb twice. Loudly. While I was on a conference call.
Of course, I use the word myself. Occasionally, and more often than not, in anger. And yes, I tell my children that it is a rude word to use. But it's getting a bit hard to tell them that they mustn't use it when they hear it everywhere.
While it is easy to blame the likes of Gordon Ramsey, who drops the word into every sentence as often as he includes garlic in his recipes, this development in the use of the English language probably needs to be seen for what it is; the natural development of our language. Like the everyday use of 'crap' or 'bloody', which were taken as being most offensive as recently as 30 years ago, but are now considered mild.
The Age has recently explored the same matter, but concerning what's now considered the only real rude word.
I suppose it's only a matter of time that this other taboo word is flung about with abandon. That's sad, because surely we need some really rude words in our lexicon to bring out when they are really needed?
As for me, I shall continue to use my trusty i-Pod on public transport, so I don't have to contend with the F-bomb quite so much.