As a writer, many people often ask me what my favorite word is in the English language. Seriously, this happens more often than you might think. I’m not sure exactly what prompts it. It’s not like people ask me my favorite color anymore, but maybe if I was a painter, this would be a more common experience.
When I first started to realize how often I field this question, I thought it was entirely odd. Would a painter know the exact number of her favorite color on the PMS color chart? I decided to have a few words at the ready…kind of like you need to have the five words to describe yourself prepared ahead of time before going on an interview.
These words definitely changed as my experience as a writer changed. My grad school words included metafiction and ars poetica. My early-teaching career words included onomatopoeia and oxymoron. I would politely explain that I couldn’t possibly pick one word; it would be like asking an artist to choose one color, right? That may be true, but it was also a lie.
Hands down, without question, I have one favorite word in the entire English language, and that word is Fuck. I believe this whole-heartedly, mainly because of its versatility. So I’ve decided to put it to the test—can it function as each of the eight major parts of speech?
Noun: Of course. Example: Walter is such a fuck.
Verb: Absolutely. Examples: fuck, fucking, fucked, has been fucked, et al.
Pronoun: I know this is a reach, but I think it is still valid. Example: I’m so sick of Justin; fucker still owes me last month’s rent.
Adjective: At first I thought I could just skip this because it’s such an obvious yes, but then I noticed that the adjective form often (perhaps always) conjugates; it’s close to the gerund usage, but not quite. Is there a term for a verb acting as an adjective? I can’t think of one other word where this happens. Example: That fucking test was so fucking hard.
Conjunction: Hmmm. Going to get creative here. A conjunction is used to join information together; in usage, Fuck often replaces one of the most popular conjunctions—but. Example: I was going to bet on red, fuck I hit black instead.
Interjection: A word that expresses emotion and often uses an exclamation point—definitely yes. Example: Fuck!
Preposition: Admittedly another reach, but the usage is so common, that I have to give it a shot. Example: Brad constantly gets fucked over by his boss. Note: the removal of fucked or over changes the entire meaning of the sentence, so perhaps this should be fucked-over.
Adverb: Here’s where I get stuck. And I feel that this is entirely unfair to my beloved Fuck. It could be argued that the -ing adjective form could also be used as an adverb, but it doesn’t quite work. So I am advocating for a new usage—Fuckily. Example: That was fuckily done.
Fuckily gives an air of sophistication while still capturing the essence of everything that is Fuck. Luckily is given a similar adverbial state, so there is some precedent to draw from. After all that Fuck has been and done, it definitely deserves this one last part of speech.