The words on the computer screen jumped out at me: “Fucking amazing!” I felt a ltingle of excitement. It was 1998. The World Wide Web was barely a decade old, and weblogs were just coming onto the scene. Up until this new electronic era, I’d primarily read books, newspapers and the odd magazine; all printed media, and the word “fucking” rarely made it past editors and into print.
Seeing “fucking” on the screen felt edgy. Risky. As if those few new weblog authors had found a whole untapped platform from which to redefine societal norms.
Now, nearly twenty years later, I skim travel blogs every day. Most feature prominent use of the word “fucking.” Fucking epic. Fucking awesome. Fucking exhilarating. Fucking unbelievable. Fucking any adjective you can think of.
There is no longer anything innovative, edgy or thrilling in seeing the word “fucking” in print. It has become as banal as “hidden gem” and “breathtaking.” To the seasoned reader, dependence on the word “fucking” to express intense emotion indicates, at best, a writer who is not very creative, and at worst, a writer too stoked on his or her own adrenaline high to calm down and process the experience before writing about it. And thereby cheating the reader.