The F-word is an amazingly versatile piece of our four-letter Anglo-Saxon heritage. It can express surprise, outrage, anger, humor, or delight. And it can stand in for several parts of speech: noun, verb, gerund, particular, imperative, interrogative, interjection.
Let’s not forget use of the f-word as one of the rarest of language forms, the infix. A prefix comes before a word. A suffix comes after. An infix appears in the middle of a normal word or phrase, as in “You are damn f—ing right.” Or “un-f—ing-believable.” Or as they like to moan in Boston when thinking of the New York Yankees victory in the 1978 playoff game: “Bucky F—ing Dent!” It was the light-hitting Dent’s timely home run that ruined the Red Sox season.
by Roy Peter Clark, writing techer
A Many-splendored Thing
Most people are familiar only with fuck’s violent side; few appreci- ate its complex character. Fuck is nature’s all-purpose word, able to express every mood and capture the tenor of every occasion.
The only thing it isn’t is simple, as with this fuckin’ business.
Given the proper inflection, the word can express an entire range of sentiments:
Confusion: What the fuck?
Despair and dismay: Fucked again, or truly fucked.
Liberation: What the fuck!
Helplessness: Fucked by the fickle finger of fate.
Concern: Doesn’t anyone give a fuck?
From Bawdy Language