Let's be honest, we've all dropped the F-bomb at some low point in our lives. Once considered abominably rude in social circles, for years now 'f***' has been the commonest curse word among all age groups. In fact, Britain's 94-year-old Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was heard impatiently grumbling "just take the f***ing picture" at a recent event to mark the 75th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain.
We let fly expletives even when we don't need to.
"What the f*** are you doing?", "Oh f***", "This place is f****** hot", "F*** that"--the list is endless.
"The F word is almost like drinking water. I can't even count the number of times I use it in a day," says Sanhita Agarwal, a 26 year old lawyer in Kolkata. And, how many times because of this f****** habit of yours, have you slipped the word in while talking to your parents? How many times have you used it around children?
But, wiping one’s vocabulary clean is not an easy feat.
"The word f*** is pretty much irreplaceable. Any other word doesn't have the same effect," says Piya, a 29-year-old working professional in Mumbai.
After facing a similar ordeal, Sneha Keshav, a Mumbai resident, decided to create alternatives to the word f*** and illustrate it. The 27-year-old is currently a graduate student at the Branding Program, School of Visual Arts, New York.
Inspired by Micheal Beirut's 100 Days Project, Sneha is determined to remove the word from her vocabulary.
"I use it, I love it and have absolutely no problem with the word," she says. However, she says that there are times we need to mind our language, especially when around parents and little kids.
The word f*** is in fact, abused. "We now use it as an adjective, not an abuse anymore," she says.
She explains about her project on her website:
"Taming of the fuckery is about finding colorful alternatives to the word 'fuck' which has taken over our vocabulary ever so slyly. As I embark on this 100 day journey, I will do my best to tighten my tongue and typography."
Sneha describes herself as--"The taming of the f***ery girl".
Her designs are both whimsical and helpful for anyone looking to transition from a vulgarity-soaked vocabulary to a squeaky-clean one.
Here are a few examples, from her blog:
In her project, Sneha is also trying to bring in other cultures. "Instead of f*** all, we can use the Hindi word faltu," Sneha says. The designer also learnt a Chinese phrase "Xiang Wui", which means "Go, see a ghost". She liberally uses the phrase now instead of the F-word.
Sneha says she doesn't know if this project of hers will teach people to abuse less, but she sure hopes it acts as a "crutch for people who seem to have forgotten other words in the English language."
So, here's the challenge. Try not using the F word for a week. If you succeed, let us know in the comment section what you replaced it with.
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