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Is it time to forever say eff off to the F word?

Greg Johnson is sick of hearing the F word everywhere he goes.
Greg Johnson is sick of hearing the F word everywhere he goes. EverySpoon

JOHNO'S SAY: In gentler days, long ago, gentlemen tipped their hats to ladies, or as CJ Dennis put it, "they dipped their lids," (it was actually "I dips me lid," but I've gone down the plural path so let it be).

Ladies were either called Mrs or Miss, the latter being applied to my beloved Great Auntie Grace who died a "spinster" in her late 80s.

Mind you I didn't mind it that much when the lefties pushed for Ms years ago, made it easier, really, as one didn't have to differentiate any more.

Young boys were called Master and young ladies were called Miss as well.

Men wore handkerchiefs and women carried umbrellas.

What do you think of the F word?

This poll ended on 18 February 2015.

Current Results

Accept it as part of our vocabulary

50%

Make it disappear forever

49%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Courtesy abounded, nary an inappropriate or misjudged step was taken.

Foul language was not permitted in front of ladies and words like "bloody," "damn," "coot" "bastard" and "bugger" were severely frowned upon and apologies were demanded.

Indeed a male of the species could well find himself shedding a little blood to a larger fellow if an apology was not forthcoming.

Fast forward 50 years and ask yourself how often do you see young men, in particular, tip their hats, or should I say baseball caps, to passing ladies? Never!

But worse, those gentle profanities of the 60s and 70s have been overtaken by the unimaginable, the "F WORD'" passing along the way "S WORD" and "P WORD" which variously describe the transfer of waste materials from one's body.

How did this happen, how did the F word become one of our most-used words?

What relevance has the crude description of fornication to everyday conversation?

You hear it everywhere in both the context of a compliment, "jeez she's effen hot" describing an attractive lady and "you effen little beauty" after you've backed a winner at Clifford Park, and as less than a compliment, "what are you effen looking at" from a larger male to a smaller male and "eff off" for the same reason.

Men use it, women use it, children use it and I reckon our dog Bonnie uses it when I stand on her tail.

I went to the pictures last week and saw Kingsman: The Secret Service.

It was beaut movie but the dialogue was nothing more than a litany of F words employed for both good and bad purposes.

And my mother-in-law saw it the next night, ohhh I am glad I wasn't with her, the embarrassment would have been too much to bear.

It's on television, on radio, it's in the papers, rich people use it, sports-people love it (fiancés of famous tennis players use it with pride)  - it's everywhere.

Enough is enough!

Here's your chance, The Chronicle devotees, I reckon we should clear this word from our vocabulary and I challenge you to cast your vote below, please.

Should we accept that the F WORD is just part of our vocabulary or should we all resolve to make it disappear forever.

Topics:  blog editors picks greg johnson opinion swearing toowoomba


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