Why Is “F---” Considered Unprintable?

Of all the expletives, the f-word alone continues to be partially censored. Perhaps that’s because it still connotes menace in a way that other expletives do not.

BOOCYS/Shutterstock.

BOOCYS/Shutterstock.

COLUMN
Dec. 22 2021
About Philologos

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.

It’s been nearly 30 years since James Baker, then President George Bush’s Secretary of State, made his memorable remark about America’s Jews (I quote from the Chicago Tribune of March 15, 1992), “— ’em! They didn’t vote for us.” Other versions had Baker saying, “They don’t vote for us anyway,” and different newspapers found different ways of truncating the f-word, but none of them spelled it out in full.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Donald Trump, Expletives