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?
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.