I’m a word lover–a reader, writer, talker. I love words in any form: fiction, essay, poetry, conversation, anecdote, lyric. Foreign words like pamplemousse, (grapefruit in French)and miercoles (Wednesday in Spanish) delight my mouth and my ear. Surnames challenge me to discover their meanings: Guttschmidt, (German for good smith)Kaminski, (Polish for Stone.)

The only word I truly hate is the *f* word.

Its meaning is foul and the very sound of it is displeasing, hard, guttural, and angry sounding to my ears. Everywhere I go I hear it, even from children in grade school, and I’m puzzled by its appeal.

I once got so annoyed at a co-worker’s constant use of it, despite the fact that I’d asked him politely to refrain from saying it around me, that I told him I considered it “verbal rape” and that its only legitimate use would be if he came home and discovered his wife in bed with another man. His jaw fell open and I realized he actually found speaking without it nearly impossible.

You’d think that any word that could be used as so many different parts of speech would elicit my admiration. Sorry, but no. Why rely on constant repetition when the world’s full of glorious evocative words? Is it laziness? Ignorance? A lack of education? A glitch in the brain? Is that really how people want to be perceived?

What a shame. What a lack of imagination.

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