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I actually started this WordPress blog because of my desire to post this video to my other blog, but found out that this was a blog site that I could directly post YouTube videos into.

My reason for posting this video is for a project for my American English Grammar class, for a journal assignment where we are supposed to relate our personal observations and share media items (I suppose this fits both categories). I had wanted to share this in class, for I found it quite informative and directly relevant to our class discussions, but my professor was concerned about offending some of the other students. So I decided to look for another way to share this video and explore why I think it is an interesting language learning tool. One of my Spanish professors taught us how to say “F-you,” and “Go F-yourself” as a way of teaching us that verb tense, because the students would better remember the verb formation with a word that caught their attention, and “the F-word” certainly is a word that gets peoples’ attention, whether it amuses or offends them.

Disclaimer: If you have a problem with the word in question, DON’T watch the video! You are properly warned in this text and in the title that this contains offensive language, so please-no comments like, “how dare you share such filth.” If you think it is filth, you know where the link is to go to someone else’s blog! We have a right to free speech, and we have a right to choose what we view and read–it is our own personal responsibility to monitor ourselves based on our values. And parents–if your kid stumbles upon this post and you have a problem with it–monitor your kids better online. However, above a certain age, I think a little rebellious viewing of this video just may have the positive effects that I will outline below, for what audience but the pre-teen and up would be so impressed by the use of this word in a grammar lesson, and would potentially actually learn something about grammar from it–albeit accidentally, for you know learning wasn’t their intent in watching it?

“The F-Word” Video and How it Can Be a Valuable Learning Tool in a Language Classroom

Listening to the dialogue of this video, we are informed that Fuck is the only word out of all words beginning with the letter F that is called “the F-word.” (Actually, some may use it for Feminism, another potentially offensive word to some, depending on their views of women’s rights. And I just saw that there is a British cooking show with that title, but I digress . . .) The video declares that this is a “magical word that just by it’s sound” can be used to describe pain, pleasure, hate or love.

One of my favorite things about the study of grammar is where words came from, and the video declares that it originates from the German word “Frichen,” which they say means “to strike.” Of course, there are many different versions of where this word originated, but apparently this is the one the video makers liked. What I was taught in high school–on the sly, I believe, teacher swearing us to secrecy for telling us about something offensive–was that the word was used in police reports as a reason for arrest or booking “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.” But you get the idea–finding out origins of words can be fun!

Here is what really got my attention in this video, for it explained what we were working on that week in a way that made more sense than the textbook did. The video proclaims that the word falls into “many grammatical categories. As a transitive verb–John f—ed Shirley. As an intransitive verb–“Shirley f—s.” These are points that had completely confused me in class that finally started to make sense!

The narrator continues in his interesting voice–much better and expressive than most commentators on videos– stating that the word’s meaning is “not always sexual.” In fact, it can be used as an adjective, “such as, ‘John’s doing all the f—ing work. As part of an adverb, ‘Shirley talks to f—ing much.’ As an adverb enhancing an adjective, ‘Shirley is f—ing beautiful!’ As a noun, ‘I don’t give a f—.’ As part of a word, ‘absof—inglutely’ or ‘inf—ingcredible’ And as almost every word in a sentence, ‘F— the f—ing f—ers!'”

The narrator continues, discussing how there are not many words in the English language with the “versatility” of F—, “as in these examples describing such situations as Fraud: ‘I got f—ed at the used car lot.’ Dismay: ‘Aw, f— it!’ Trouble: ‘I guess I’m really f—ed now.’ Aggression: ‘Don’t f— with me, buddy!’ Difficulty: ‘I don’t understand this f—ing question!’ Inquiry: ‘Who the f— was that?’ Dissatisfaction: ‘I don’t like what the f— is going on here.’ Incompetence (funnily spelled wrong in the inter-titles!):: ‘He’s a f—off.’ Dismissal: ‘Why don’t you go outside and play “hide and go f—yourself”?'”

The narrator leaves the viewers to determine more examples for themselves, and concludes “with all these multi-purpose applications, how can anyone be offended when you use the word? We say ‘use this unique, flexible word more often in your daily speech. It will identify the quality of your character immediately. Say it LOUDLY, PROUDLY: ‘F— YOU!”

And so, that’s the video, all two-minutes and thirty seconds of it of humor and language learning. Yes, it can be offensive, but we can choose to not be offended by the word for a moment or two to enjoy the learning offered by the discourse and visual cartoons.

While it may not have been appropriate for my classroom–and I agree it could have been a sticky situation–I hope at least one person sees this and learns something about grammar from it as well–and also gets a good laugh to help him or her through out the rest of the day!

Instead of “F— You” I say, “Adieu”!