There’s a wonderful new piece in New York magazine by @wrongologist Kathryn Schulz, called “Ode to a Four-Letter Word.” It points that using f-u-c-k in your writing is not necessarily a mark of laziness:
“Writers don’t use expletives out of laziness or the puerile desire to shock or because we mislaid the thesaurus. We use them because, sometimes, the four-letter word is the better word—indeed, the best one. “
This excellent essay, though, only really tackles “fuck” as a modifier or expletive, to which I would add, it’s often the best choice as a verb, too. There’s no other word for having sex that is as staccato, specific, and monosyllabic. It’s downright elegant. To be sure, it sets a certain tone, and, depending on context, will jar some readers. But others will appreciate your refreshing straightforwardness.
Separately, I assumed the New York story was written by a dude until I looked at the byline. What’s up with that?