After a three day closed-door meeting, an elite group of scholars affiliated with various international publishers and academic institutions announced its decision to change the official classification of the F-word. From now on, it's no longer a curse word.
This change in status has many people very worried.
Some fear that the rampant use of the F-word will slowly erode vocabulary. Since people will be able to use it freely in any situation, many words will simply become pointless and slowly fall out of use.
Linguistics experts at Cambridge are predicting that by 2050, it's likely that the average English dictionary will be no larger than a pamphlet. And even then, most of the pamphlet will consist of variations on the F-word.
Within the next one hundred years, it's possible that native English speakers will be unable to utter anything except "F--k!" Of course, body language and intonation will still enable them to be understood.
To those opposed to the decision, the prediction paints a near post-apocalyptic linguistic nightmare.
Primary school teachers are among those most angered by the decision. Ms. Pamela Jones, a 6th grade reading teacher from rural Alberta, explained her concerns: "Vocabulary is so important and we spend much of the year working on it. Now there just won't be that much left to do in class. What the f--k!"
The decision came as a big blow to those who often use the word specifically because they like the shock factor.
Billy B. Brite, a Colorado poet who is well known for exploiting the F-word in his poetry, was particularly frustrated. When we contacted him for his reaction, he shouted, "How the f--k am I supposed to write poetry now! Without the F-word, it's nearly impossible to get your reader's attention. F--k, F--k, F--king, F--k!
Those who support the decision insist that the F-word was unfairly labeled. They also point out that the liberation of the word will lead to new creativity. Many words will drop out of English, but the number of ways one can use the F-word will increase exponentially.
Many parents are celebrating the decision because it means they will no longer have to restrain from using the F-word in front of their children. All across the English speaking world, parents will be saying things like, "Johnny, move your tricycle, you little f--k! Or, "Bobby, stop hitting your brother! That's f--ked up!"
Although most are shocked by the decision, some said that the decision wouldn't change their lives at all. One man phoned in to tell us that up until now he actually had no idea that the F-word was dirty. He explained, "My parents were quite progressive. They just wanted me to express myself the best way I could. According to my mother, 'f--k' was actually my first word. By the time I was three, I would regularly say to her, 'Mommy, where's my F--king sippy cup?' It just never seemed like a big deal to me."
There are some who have vowed to continue using the F-word like it's still a curse word, but scholars insist that as time passes, the F-word simply won't have the same effect, no matter how many times you say it.
Some wonder whether another word will ever be able to replace the F-word. If so, it seems unlikely that it will happen anytime soon. Nostalgia for the F-word will continue for quite a while as people lament "the good old days, when the F-word meant something."
Although it will be difficult to go five minutes in public without hearing an F-bomb, the F-word just won't pack the same punch.