I have been noticing recently that some people seem to have a problem with the word 'fuck.' The odd thing is that they themselves use it, they just don't spell it correctly. They spell it either 'f*ck' or, if they're Lutheran, 'f**k'.
I have thought lots about this – obviously I need more things to do – and have reached some interesting conclusions about this.
For one: who are they trying to fool? They know what word they mean, we the readers know what word they mean, and six year old kids who can't spell anything else know what word they mean. It would be a poor word if no one knew what it meant – this would defeat the purpose of using the word in the first place, which is presumably to communicate some idea with others. Ergo, they aren't fooling anyone.
So what the f*ck are they doing? I have come to believe that many people who do this are attempting to somehow sidestep the sin of actually spelling the word out, as if spelling it 'fuck' is evil but spelling it 'f*ck' is okay. I'm not sure who judges you in the afterlife, but I'm pretty sure that whoever it is is smart enough to know you meant “fuck”, asterisks or no asterisks. (“No, really, I didn't spell it correctly so it doesn't count!”)
Maybe they just don't like how the word looks if it's spelled correctly. I can sort of sympathize with this view, because the word 'fuck' is admittedly stark. However, that is its beauty, in my opinion, or at least its utility. If you don't want stark, don't use 'fuck' (or 'f*ck'). But de gustibus non est disputandum, as they say.
So what word might one use instead of 'f*ck?' I personally recommend '$%@' or the equivalent, it has more integrity somehow. I recall as a child wondering what the f*ck '$%@' meant, and once I finally figured it out (senior year in high school), wondering how you pronounce it. My brother and I came up with “star spiral lightning” as the accepted pronunciation. This was derived from the comic book version of '$&#%@”, where they could actually draw symbols instead of use typewriter keys. I think “star spiral lightning” was what Donald Duck said when he stopped too quickly on his bicycle and landed astride the bar that boys' bikes have but girls' don't.
So there, I'm done ranting about 'f*ck' and its insipid brethren. Spell it however you want to. It's just that 'f*ck' seems a little childish, really. There. I am done now, g*d d*mn it.