No, I Don’t Fucking Love It

Blowhard, Esq. writes:

I spend way too much time online and, over the past couple of years or so, I can’t help but observe a new linguistic innovation. Have you noticed that many people no longer simply “like” or “love” something but “fucking love” it? Facebook comments, Twitter, reddit — anywhere people are discussing anything, sooner or later someone will use that phrase to express their approbation.

Excuse the Grumpy Old Manism, but I find the phrase incredibly grating. Yeah, I know, language changes, new idioms develop, and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to express yourself. I get all that. It still bothers me, though, so I’ve been asking myself why.

While it’s not true of every person or every word, it seems that people resist new slang and idioms when they’re introduced. Have you noticed that too? It’s funny to see people physically recoil at the word “twerking” and lament its inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary. I resisted the phrase “my bad” for a number of years because it sounded so juvenile to me. Now, I hardly notice it and even say it myself, so similarly, maybe once the novelty of “fucking love” wears off, I’ll use it like anyone else.

But I’m not persuaded that’s the case with this one. I think I dislike the phrase because there’s an element of anger and aggression behind it. It’s one thing to say you “fucking hate” something, but gee, now we’ve gotta color our praise with aggression too? Is being amped up and angry now the default state in American public life? Jesus, people, will you please fucking calm down?

fblike

My theory as to why this phrase has caught on: the Facebook “like” button. If a mouse click is all it takes to express approval then the emotion has become diluted and cheap, so our language has compensated by puffing things up. I think the song “America, Fuck Yeah!”  is a major influence too. On Tumblr, there are innumerable blogs called “Fuck Yeah [insert thing blog is about].” I guess the only way young’uns know how to express enthusiasm nowadays is by fucking things.

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About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
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20 Responses to No, I Don’t Fucking Love It

  1. Will S. says:

    I suppose it makes some sense in the case of all the porny Tumblr blogs, e.g. ‘fuck yeah Brazilian girls’, etc.

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  2. Handle says:

    When I first came across the word ‘blog’ I thought it was incredibly ugly. It even felt strange to speak, almost like a glottal choking. It certainly didn’t feel like an ‘organic’ extension of the English language. But it’s here to stay. I still don’t care for it, but the disgust has worn off.

    I will say that it still seems more odd as a verb than a noun. ‘I read this post on my friend’s blog’ seems better to me than ‘he blogged about that new restaurant.’

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  3. RT says:

    So… my pet peeve is how suddenly everyone starts their responses with “so” as in “So the reason we…”

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  4. Days of Broken Arrows says:

    This is annoying, but I personally have bigger pet peeves:

    1). “Wow, just wow.”

    2). Just saying.’

    3). The constant quoting of Lennon The Peacenik Wifebeater. (TM)

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    • A friend noted how much she hates “just sayin'” too. It’s a weasely way of saying, “You moron!”

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    • Will S. says:

      Yes! Other pet peeves:

      “Threw up in my mouth a bit” – oh, please; you did not, really…

      “douchecanoe” – seriously, WTF? How is some made-up, meaningless word akin to something a Grade 3er would come up with, any sort of insult for an adult to use, even stupid early 20-something females / homos / trannies / their beta orbiters?

      Using hashtags outside of Twitter. Please; let that not become mainstream English!

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  5. I often wonder if some of this couldn’t be cured by passing a law banning energy drinks. People seem to do a lot of breathless gabbing-purely-for-the-sake-of-gabbing these days, they squabble and spat a lot, and they seem to be ever in search of new ways to give what they’re saying some added emphasis. Maybe if they cut back on the caffeine they’d be able to CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

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  6. agnostic says:

    You can try permutations like capitalizing the F so that the phrase starts a sentence, or do “I fucking love,” and the picture is pretty similar. It only shows up in the American English and English Fiction corpora, though.

    Anyway, I’m fine with emphatics like “damned,” “fucking,” “motherfucking,” etc., provided that they’re used in an emphatic context. You hear “Power of Love” come on the supermarket speakers, and you’re like, “I fucking love this song!” It’s genuine expression. And that’s how it was used back in the ’70s and ’80s.

    When annoying people use it, it isn’t genuine but ironic. Not as in, they actually hate the thing they’re talking about. But they only “actually kind of” like it. Y’know, like, “I fucking love green Skittles!” Wait what? You “fucking love” green Skittles? — aw, I see what you did there, you’re pretending to get all excited about something that a person could only actually kind of like. Score another notch on your belt of self-aware ironic-ness.

    Same thing’s going on with using “hashtag” in real speech. I totally heard that on the train the other day by a dorky-hip college chick joking around with her friends. I didn’t hear anything other than “hashtag,” but something like “hashtag my life sucks” or “hashtag awkward,” whatever she was joking around about. Anything that heightens self-aware, ironic, meta-commentary will succeed. Kids these days don’t want to get lost in a conversation but remain in a state of alert self-consciousness.

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  7. Days of Broken Arrows says:

    It’s also hella sad that the one slang word people could use to be cool is hella under-used. People are hella stupid not to use this word and it makes me hella mad.

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  8. agnostic says:

    There’s a weird exhibitionist ring to “I fucking love green Skittles!” Since you aren’t really that pumped up about them, you have to scream-and-shout it to all bystanders in order to get attention. It’s verbal flashing.

    And the “Aw, I see what you did there” is the voyeur’s response to the flasher’s “fucking love.”

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  9. Days of Broken Arrows says:

    Wait — another one! What about “deal breakers.” I notice this used a lot by women on dating sites, but when did this become a common phrase? I find it obnoxious, as with most business terminology people insert into personal situations (satirized many moons ago by Elvis Costello in “Busy Bodies”).

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  10. As long as we’re blowing off steam about annoying current language trends … How about “reach out to”? I hear this all the time — young people talking about how they’re going to reach out to someone. As far as I can tell, what they mean is roughly “I’ll drop this guy a line and see if anything comes of it.” Looking-for-a-new-job business-speak, right? Were they taught in college to “reach out to” people to get their careers underway? In any case: stop it, right now.

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  11. Pingback: Fuck Off with This “Fucking Love It” Crap

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