What the f -at- #$?

Subject: What the f -at- #$?
From: Matt Hicks <matt -at- UNIDATA -dot- UCAR -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994 11:11:53 -0600

On Sun, 24 Jul 1994, Marion Smith wrote:

> it would be Mrs Smith, but I'm dam*ed if I'm changing my surname!

Let's see... you're damped? No, that's not right. You're dammed? That sounds
painfully unlikely. You're damaged? Well, that could be your view of the
situation. What is the point of this? If I read a reference to "the F word",
I know exactly what is meant; I even make the equation in my head. So does
everyone else, I reckon. So who are we saving from what? This fear of words
is ridiculous. I find leaving the "n" out of "damned" to be completely silly.
How does anyone else feel about this practice? I'm of the opinion that if you
don't feel comfortable enough using a word to spell it out, then you probably
shouldn't bother to use it at all. If you think seeing a word in print is
going to bother someone, why shouldn't you believe that making them think of
that word is going to bother them just as much.

I don't mean this to be a flame...well not of a person anyway, but perhaps of
a practice. This business of acceptable and unacceptable language is a real
peeve of mine. I'm wondering if anyone else has ever stopped to ponder why
some words (usually monosyllabic) are shunned while there synonyms (usually
polysyllabic) are acceptable. I suspect that the origins of this are classist
and elitist, but I've never actually made a study to confirm this.

Matt Hicks, Tech. Writer, Unidata * I may not agree with what you
Boulder, CO, (303)497-8676, ******* say, but I'll defend to the
matt -at- unidata -dot- ucar -dot- edu ************* death my right to mock you.

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