WARNING: This post contains strong language… unless you’re French.
Fuck. It’s never been a bad word— it just makes some people uncomfortable. On the other hand, some people totally love “fuck,” like the late, great George Carlin.
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And David Peel, also no longer with us, explained in hilarious detail what a truly versatile word it is.
If you enjoy modern pop music, “fuck” is unavoidable. While some are offended by its presence — and thus songs containing it are flagged as “Explicit” — it also makes lyrics sound like actual people actually talking, which can be refreshingly real.
But that the exciting little frisson one got from using this taboo word is now gone, at least for French Canadians. Though the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) had previously declared “fuck” to be off-limits for both French and English audiences except late at night, a series of complaints from listeners of CKOI-FM in Montreal has led it to change its mind.
At issue were uses of the word in live recordings of Madonna at the Washington D.C. Women’s March in January 2017, and Billie Joe Armstrong in a Green Day concert recording. The station appealed to the CBSC, asserting that “fuck” is now just part of the French language.
Ultimately, the CBSC agreed, pointing out that, “in this regard, that language is evolutionary and reflects current society.” Their statement read, in part:
Although the CBSC has previously said that the f-word should not be broadcast on radio during daytime or early evening hours, it established in a previous decision regarding the use of the word in a French-language television program, that using the word ‘fuck’ in French does not have the same vulgar connotation as it does in English.
They did rule out, though, a few of Carlin’s and Peel’s suggestions, adding that only, “if the word is used infrequently and not as an insult towards a particular person, it will be deemed acceptable in the context of French-language programming.”
So, play nice, Québécois, for fuck’s sake.