No, it is not ok!
I still remember a pivotal moment in my childhood. My mother was at the sink with her back to me doing the dinner dishes. I was on my usual perch on a stool chatting about my day as she worked. At some point I said, “mom, is f… a bad word?” Only I said the word. My mom was very good about it; she did not break a single dish. She calmly asked me where I had heard it. I explained that the second grade sister of a boy in my 4thgrade class had told me the word on the playground and said it was the “baddest of the bad” words. My mother did not tell me its meaning. Instead she said that it was a word that people with very poor vocabularies used and that people who had a good vocabulary should never use it. She then reminded me that I had a good vocabulary, even my teacher said so. That was my introduction to profanity and to this day I do not use language meant for people with a limited vocabulary.
Many years later I became the Assistant State Superintendent for Special Education at the Maryland State Department of Education. One of my very talented staff members routinely used the “f-word” for every part of speech. The notion that only people with a poor vocabulary used that word had long since been discarded but still I felt a physical blow each time she used it.
Now it seems we are in an era where all restraints are off. Crude and common language is becoming more and more common and yes, it is still crude.
Entertainers feel it is quite acceptable to use profanity to punctuate songs, jokes, and general expressions. The language is used on cable TV. Young children do not begin to know what the words mean but they do know they get a rise out of adults and somehow makes them seem brave in front of peers. We tell kids they shouldn't use these words, yet they hear adults doing it all the time. The use of such profane language has become a status symbol into adulthood as much as puberty.
Now it seems the issue has even reached the Supreme Court. Yesterday, the Court heard a case brought by a fashion brand named FUCT. And yes, it rhymes with duct. The US Patent Office has refused to patent the brand. Under the law it is allowed to do so by calling the name scandalous and immoral. Even the attorney presenting the case before the Court does not pronounce the word, instead saying just the individual letters of the brand name. The plaintiff’s position is that the decision by the patent office is arbitrary and that the name is really an acronym for “Friends U Can’t Trust”. The designer believes that a positive verdict from the Supreme Court will help him to pursue counterfeiters. No one asks who would want to counterfeit such a vulgar name for a company because we already know that lots of people do.
How far are we as a society going to go with our decent into the most vulgar and coarse words? At some point someone really needs to stop and say, “NO, this is not ok”. Each of us could do that today.