Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Instructive Value of Fuck

In most languages, including english, there are four basic types of utterances

Expletive - An excited utterance
Imperative - A command or instruction
Interrogitive - A question
Expositive - A declaratory statement, description, or account

I was thinking about language commonalities, differences, advantages and disadvantages, occaisoned by me re-reading ot the excellent Bill Bryson book "Mother Tongue".

Specifically I was reading about Noam Chomsky, and there came to me a realization: fuck is one of the few words that can be all four.

Allow me to demonstrate

Expletive: Fuck!
Imperitive: Fuck Off!
Interrogitive: What the fuck?
Expositve: This is fucked up

As so many have pointed out before, Fuck is possibly the most useful word in the english language, but until just now, I hadn't realized its potential scope of applications in the field of linguistics instruction.

Perhaps I should write a FUCK YOU note to Noam Chomsky.