Is it just me, or do a lot of those things seem to be missing from society these days? Check out the comment section of any news article or social media post and you're likely to find people being mean, nasty, and just generally uncouth. And foul-mouthed. Lots and lots of foul-mouthedness.
Look around and the f-word is everywhere. (Unless you've been living in a convent, you know that the f-word is a four-letter word that starts with "f" and ends with "k.") (And it's not "fork.") Now, I'm not (completely) naive. I know that the f-word has been around for a long time, even way back when I was a kid. But, back then it was usually only heard in locker rooms, high school hallways, blue-collar workplaces, and R-rated movies. It was hardly ever seen in print.
But now, it's hard to avoid. It's difficult to read anything online without the f-word popping up several times. People pepper their regular conversations with it. It's popping up with more and more frequency in online columns and news articles. A few years ago there was even a best-selling "children's" book with the title Go the F*** to Sleep.
The acronym "wtf" (short for "what the f***") has become so common that most of us don't even think anymore about the f-word being in it.
And that brings me to the new acronym that is taking the world by storm: AF. "AF" stands for "as f***," and when added to the end of a word or sentence it means "very much so," or "to the extreme," or maybe even "as all get-out." So, if something were to be designated as "boring AF," that would mean it is very, very boring.
|Very, very Main.|
Having spent most of my life in eastern Idaho or northern Utah, the initials "AF" have always meant something different to me. In Idaho, "AF" stands for "American Falls," which is a small town located about 20 miles west of Pocatello. And in Utah, "AF" is American Fork, a growing burg about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City. So, to me and most of the people I know, "AF" is just shorthand for one of these two towns.
Not so for the general public, though. The other day I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said, "Potential AF." What the heck does that even mean? "Potential as f***?" What kind of potential is that? Maybe you'd have even more potential if you cleaned up that potty mouth of yours!
(This is where I admit that I'm an old fuddy-duddy. How much of a fuddy-duddy? So much so that I regularly use the term "fuddy-duddy.")
"AF" is becoming so prevalent that I've actually seen it used recently in headlines of semi-reputable websites! Really? Have we become so tactless as a society that we're putting the f-word in headlines? (This would never have happened if print media were still alive!)
So, what are we to do? Here's a thought: let's show a little restraint. Let's not fling the f-word around like a monkey at the zoo flinging it's own poo. Using the f-word all the time is a sure sign of laziness. We can be more creative than that. We can be as creative as all get-out! (It's the decent, tactful thing to do.)