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The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.


VERB: Inflected forms: fucked, fucking, fucks

1. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
2. To take advantage of, betray, or cheat; victimize.
3. Used in the imperative as a signal of angry dismissal.

1. To engage in sexual intercourse
2. To act wastefully or foolishly
3. To interfere; meddle. Often used with with.

1. An act of sexual intercourse
2. A partner in sexual intercourse
3. A despised person
4. Used as an intensive: What the fuck did you do that for?

Used to express extreme displeasure.

fuck off
1. Used in the imperative as a signal of angry dismissal.
2. To spend time idly.
3. To masturbate.
fuck over To treat unfairly; take advantage of.
fuck up
1. To make a mistake; bungle something.
2. To act carelessly, foolishly, or incorrectly.
3. To cause to be intoxicated.

Middle English, attested in pseudo-Latin fuccant, (they) fuck, deciphered from gxddbov.

The obscenity fuck is a very old word and has been considered shocking from the first,
though it is seen in print much more often now than in the past. Its first known
occurrence, in code because of its unacceptability, is in a poem composed in a mixture
of Latin and English sometime before 1500. The poem, which satirizes the Carmelite
friars of Cambridge, England, takes its title, “Flen flyys,” from the first words of its
opening line, “Flen, flyys, and freris,” that is, “fleas, flies, and friars.” The line that
contains fuck reads “Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk.” The Latin words
“Non sunt in coeli, quia,” mean “they [the friars] are not in heaven, since.” The code
“gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk” is easily broken by simply substituting the preceding letter in
the alphabet, keeping in mind differences in the alphabet and in spelling between then
and now: i was then used for both i and j; v was used for both u and v; and vv was
used for w. This yields “fvccant [a fake Latin form] vvivys of heli.”
The whole thus reads in translation: “They are not in heaven because they fuck wives
of Ely [a town near Cambridge].”


Here we present cinematic lines that make particularly effective use of the naughtiest of
the naughty.

From “Risky Business”

"There's one thing I've learned in all my years: sometimes you gotta say, 'What the
fuck,' make your move."


"You're such a pig-fucker, Phillip!"

"Terrance, why would you call me a pig-fucker?"
"Well, let's see. First of all, you fuck pigs."
"Oh yeah!"


"They FUCK YOU at the drive-thru, okay? They FUCK YOU at the drive-thru! They
know you're gonna be miles away before you find out you got fucked! They know
you're not gonna turn around and go back, they don't care. So who gets fucked? Ol'
Leo Getz!

Okay, sure, I don't give a fuck! I'm not eating this tuna, okay?"


"We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to
write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!"

From Terminator

"Fuck you, asshole."


"You can start by wiping that fucking dumb-ass smile off your rosy fucking cheeks.
Then you can give me a fucking automobile. A fucking Datsun, a fucking Toyota, a
fucking Mustang, a fucking Buick, four fucking wheels and a seat!"

"I really don't care for the way you're speaking to me."

"And I really don't care for the way your company left me in the middle of fucking
nowhere with fucking keys to a fucking car that isn't fucking there. And I really didn't
care to fucking walk down a fucking highway and across a fucking runway to get back
here to have you smile at my fucking face. I want a fucking car right fucking now."

"May I see your rental agreement?"

"I threw it away."

"Oh, boy."

"'Oh boy,' what?"

"You're fucked."


"Give me the fucking keys, you fucking cock sucker, mother fucker!"


"'Paramount Pictures presents 'The Freak.' This movie won't just scare you, it will fuck
you up for life.' I want to know how the fuck the word "fuck" gets in the New York
fucking Times!"

"Fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Theresa to you?"


"They FUCK YOU at the hospital, okay? They FUCK YOU at the hospital! First they
drug you, then they FUCK YOU! And then along comes the insurance company and
FUCKS YOU some more!"

From “Monty Python's The Life of Brian"

"Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!"

“He is! He is the Messiah!"

"Now, fuck off!"

"How shall we fuck off, O Lord?"


"I always said, if I had to fuck a guy - I mean had to, if my life depended on it - I'd fuck


"Hey, Kurt, do you read lips? Fuck You! And another thing Vonnegut, I'm stopping
payment on that check."


(into a mirror) "Would you fuck me? I'd fuck me."

From The Big Lebousky

"Shut the fuck up, Donny!"

From Lethal Weapon 4

"They FUCK YOU with cell phones! That's what it is! They're fuckin' you with the cell
phone! They love it when you get cut off! You know why, huh? You know why? Cuz
when you call back - which they know you're gonna do - they charge you for that
fucking first minute again at that high rate!"

A Joke

Some people are sitting in a bar when one guy says, "My name is Larry and I am a

Another guy says, "What's that?"

The first guy says, "That means I am a Single, New Age Guy."

Another one says, "My name is Gary, and I am a DINK."

A girl asks, "What's that?"

He says, "That means I am a Double Income, No Kids."

A lady says, "That's nice. My name is Gertrude, and I am a WIFE."

Larry says, "A WIFE? What's a WIFE?"

She says, "That means, "Wash, Iron, Fuck, Etc."



Perhaps one of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word
"Fuck". Out of all the English words that begin with the letter "f", ´Fuck´ is the only one
that is referred to as "the F word". It`s the one magical word that, just by its sound, can
describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. "Fuck", as most words in the English language,
was derived from German. The word "fricken", which means " to strike". In English,
"fuck" falls into many grammatical categories:

♦ As a transitive verb, for instance: John fucked Shirley

♦ As an intransitive verb: Shirley fucks

It's meaning is not always sexual.

♦ It can be used as an adjective, such as "John's doing all the fucking work"
♦ As part of an adverb, "Shirley talks too fucking much"
♦ As an adverb enhancing an adjective, "Shirley is fucking beautiful"
♦ As a noun, "I don't give a fuck"
♦ As part of a word (an adjective or adverb) "abso-fucking-lutely" or "in-fucking-
♦ And as almost every word in the sentence, "Fuck thefucking fuckers"

As you must realize, there aren't too many words with the versatility of "Fuck" as in
these examples, describing situations as:

♦ Fraud: I got fucked at the used cars lot

♦ Dismay: Ahh, fuck it!!!
♦ Trouble: I guess I'm really fucked now
♦ Agression / (Warning): Don't fuck with me buddy!
♦ Difficulty: I don't understand this fucking question
♦ Inquiry: What the fuck was that?
♦ Dissatisfaction: I don't like what the fuck is going on here!
♦ Incompetence: He is a fuck off
♦ Dismissal: Why don't you go outside and play Hide-and-go-fuck-yourself?

I am sure you can think of many more examples. With all of these multipurpose
applications, how can anyone be offended when you use the word? We say, use this
unique, flexible word more often in your daily speech. It will identify que quality of your
character immediately. Say loudly, and proudly.... FUCK YOU!!!


When the f-word is no longer taboo, what will be?

If society actually needs taboo words ... then someone had better start inventing a few
new ones.

They are among the most common words in the English language, writes Andrew Ford,
but chances of seeing them in print are frequently dashed.

'F---, f---. f---, f---, f---, f---, f---," said George Harrison to Beatles biographer Hunter
Davis, explaining that it was merely a word and one day the Beatles would use it in
their songs. As far as I'm aware they never did, but I still remember as a child being
riveted by this string of expletives in Davis's authorized biography of the group. I
suppose I was 10 or 11 years old, and I've a feeling that I'd never seen the word in print
I've a feeling you may not have seen it in print now either, because it's one of those
words for which this newspaper prefers to use dashes.

The replacing of expletives with dashes is a slightly curious response, it seems to me,
because the words remain recognisable. Readers could hardly be unaware what is
being disguised when they come across "f ---" or "c---". As they read, they probably
even pronounce the words in their imaginations. So who is being saved from what, I

About five years ago, on an advertising hoarding in Redfern, there was a large poster
featuring a pile of elephant turds and alongside it the legend, "Heaps of funny shit". It
was promoting a pay-TV comedy channel. I know that the turds' provenance was an
elephant because I read it in The Sydney Morning Herald, the fact contained in a report
about complaints received from offended locals.

I can't say that the ad especially offended me, though I admit to being momentarily
confronted by such a very large image of pachydermous poo. Others, however, must
have been outraged because, as was reported, the advertisement was going to be

And here's the interesting bit. A few days later, walking past the ad, I noticed it had
indeed been changed. The last two letters of the word "shit" had been covered. It
seems that far from being offended by the image of a pile of turds - the pictorial
representation of the thing itself - most people were upset by the word that represented
it and in particular by the appearance of the word.

I was reminded of the late Frank Zappa going head-to-head with Tipper Gore at a
United States Senate hearing about the proposed censorship of rock music lyrics.
Getting specific and focusing on a song about masturbation, Frank asked Tipper what
still strikes me as a perfectly reasonable question. If masturbation itself isn't illegal,
then under what possible logic might it be illegal to sing about it?

This approaches the nub of the matter. Under what possible logic might one be more
offended by a word than by the thing is represents? Any first-year student of semiotics
will tell you that the relationship between a signifier (the word) and that which is
signified (the thing) is mostly arbitrary. So long as we all agree, we could, starting
tomorrow, refer to fish as dogs and dogs as fish and life would go on as normal.

Language is only a set of agreed conventions, and "f---" and "c---" and "sh--" are only
offensive because we agree they are. "C---", for instance, though certainly colloquial,
wasn't considered offensive when Chaucer used it in the 14th century (spelling it

But there's nothing imaginary about the offence such words cause today.

At the ABC - at least at Radio National - we are obliged to warn listeners if one of these
words is about to be pronounced. It's not always easy to know this in advance, but
where possible we give warnings of "strong language" just as is done on television.
And we do it because it would seem that nothing - not lurid sex, not graphic violence -
upsets listeners like swearing.

But in one important sense, George Harrison was right: "F---" is just a word, and now
it's in danger of overuse. It might constitute "strong language" for some Herald readers
and ABC listeners and viewers, but it's starting to lose that strength.

The average teenager (and South Park viewer) would scarcely blanch at the sight or
sound of the word, and soon the Herald may even be able to dispense with the dashes.

And yet if society actually needs taboo words - as much as anything, to convince itself
of the continuing potency of language - then someone had better start inventing a few
new ones.

They might begin their research in today's school playgrounds. Are there, I wonder, any
words that are taboo among our teenagers?

Andrew Ford, a composer and writer, is an ABC broadcaster.


Downloaded from

Jim Paterno 2001
Critical Reading

Critical reading means learning to look through texts rather than at them; it
means reading beyond and beneath surface meanings to the assumptions,
arguments, and strategies behind them. Critical reading means learning about
how texts work: how they make their meaning, how they appeal to your
emotions and intellect, how they present arguments that are explicit and
implicit; how they reason with readers and manipulate them.

To be a critical reader, you need to learn how to "slow down" your reading.
Slowing down your reading doesn't mean you ought to read more slowly; it
means that you need to read in such a way that you learn to be aware of a
text's various parts and processes. Running your eye over the words on the
page it is easy to think of any piece of writing as a smooth and solid object. But
all writing -- whether a short story by a famous writer or a paper by one of your
classmates -- is the result of a process and the product of a context. Both the
process and context that produce a piece of writing are reflected in various
ways in a text's parts and layers. When you learn to slow down your reading
you will be able to see that all writing is made up of parts and layers that come
together in the writing process to make something that seems whole.
Critical Reading Classroom Environment
For active, critical reading to occur, teachers must create an atmosphere which
fosters inquiry. Students must be encouraged to question, to make predictions,
and to organize ideas which support value judgments. Two techniques for
developing these kinds of critical reading skills include problem solving and
learning to reason through reading. Flynn (1989) describes an instructional
model for problem solving which promotes analysis, synthesis, and evaluation
of ideas. She states that, "When we ask students to analyze we expect them to
clarify information by examining the component parts. Synthesis involves
combining relevant parts into a coherent whole, and evaluation includes setting
up standards and then judging against them to verify the reasonableness of

Beck (1989) adopts a similar perspective, using the term "reasoning" to imply
higher order thinking skills. Comprehension requires inferencing, which plays a
central role in reasoning and problem solving. For Beck, children's literature has
the potential to engage students in reasoning activities.

When literature is approached from a problem solving perspective, students are

asked to evaluate evidence, draw conclusions, make inferences, and develop a
line of thinking (Riecken and Miller, 1990). According to Flynn (1989), children
are capable of solving problems at all ages and need to be encouraged to do so
at every grade level. (See, for example, "Using Fairy Tales" 1991 for young
children; Anton 1990 for elementary children; Johannessen 1989 for middle
school children.) Teachers may want to experiment with a particular children's
book and plan a lesson which places reasoning at the center of instruction.
Wilson (1988) suggests that teachers re-think the way they teach reading and
look critically at their own teaching/thinking processes. She cautions against
skills lessons that are repackaged in the name of critical thinking but which are
only renamed worksheets. She points out that teaching students to read, write,
and think critically is a dramatic shift from what has generally taken place in
most classrooms.

According to Wilson, critical literacy advocates the use of strategies and

techniques like formulating questions prior to, during, and after reading;
responding to the text in terms of the student's own values; anticipating texts,
and acknowledging when and how reader expectations are aroused and
fulfilled; and responding to texts through a variety of writing activities which ask
readers to go beyond what they have read to experience the text in personal


Mastering these strategies will not make the critical reading process an easy
one, it can make reading much more satisfying and productive and thus help
students handle difficult material well and with confidence.

Fundamental to each of these strategies is annotating directly on the page:

underlining key words, phrases, or sentences; writing comments or questions in
the margins; bracketing important sections of the text; constructing ideas with
lines or arrows; numbering related points in sequence; and making note of
anything that strikes you as interesting, important, or questionable.
 Previewing: Learning about a text before really reading it. Previewing
enables readers to get a sense of what the text is about and how it is
organized before reading it closely. This simple strategy includes seeing
what you can learn from the headnotes or other introductory material,
skimming to get an overview of the content and organization, and
identifying the rhetorical situation.
 Contextualizing: Placing a text in its historical, biographical, and
cultural contexts. When you read a text, you read it through the lens of
your own experience. Your understanding of the words on the page and
their significance is informed by what you have come to know and value
from living in a particular time and place. But the texts you read were all
written in the past, sometimes in a radically different time and place. To
read critically, you need to contextualize, to recognize the differences
between your contemporary values and attitudes and those represented
in the text.
 Questioning to understand and remember: Asking questions about
the content. As students, you are accustomed (I hope) to teachers
asking you questions about your reading. These questions are designed
to help you understand a reading and respond to it more fully, and often
this technique works. When you need to understand and use new
information though it is most beneficial if you write the questions, as you
read the text for the first time. With this strategy, you can write questions
any time, but in difficult academic readings, you will understand the
material better and remember it longer if you write a question for every
paragraph or brief section. Each question should focus on a main idea,
not on illustrations or details, and each should be expressed in your own
words, not just copied from parts of the paragraph.
 Reflecting on challenges to your beliefs and values: Examining your
personal responses. The reading that you do for this class might
challenge your attitudes, your unconsciously held beliefs, or your
positions on current issues. As you read a text for the first time, mark an
X in the margin at each point where you fell a personal challenge to your
attitudes, beliefs, or status. Make a brief note in the margin about what
you feel or about what in the text created the challenge. Now look again
at the places you marked in the text where you felt personally
challenged. What patterns do you see?
 Outlining and summarizing: Identifying the main ideas and restating
them in your own words. Outlining and summarizing are especially
helpful strategies for understanding the content and structure of a
reading selection. Whereas outlining revels the basic structure of the
text, summarizing synopsizes a selection's main argument in brief.
Outlining may be part of the annotating process, or it may be done
separately (as it is in this class). The key to both outlining and
summarizing is being able to distinguish between the main ideas and
the supporting ideas and examples. The main ideas form the backbone,
the strand that hold the various parts and pieces of the text together.
Outlining the main ideas helps you to discover this structure. When you
make an outline, don't use the text's exact words.
 Summarizing begins with outlining, but instead of merely listing the main
ideas, a summary recomposes them to form a new text. Whereas outlining
depends on a close analysis of each paragraph, summarizing also requires
creative synthesis. Putting ideas together again -- in your own words and in
a condensed form -- shows how reading critically can lead to deeper
understanding of any text.
 Evaluating an argument: Testing the logic of a text as well as its credibility
and emotional impact. All writers make assertions that want you to accept
as true. As a critical reader, you should not accept anything on face value
but to recognize every assertion as an argument that must be carefully
evaluated. An argument has two essential parts: a claim and support. The
claim asserts a conclusion -- an idea, an opinion, a judgment, or a point of
view -- that the writer wants you to accept. The support includes reasons
(shared beliefs, assumptions, and values) and evidence (facts, examples,
statistics, and authorities) that give readers the basis for accepting the
conclusion. When you assess an argument, you are concerned with the
process of reasoning as well as its truthfulness (these are not the same
thing). At the most basic level, in order for an argument to be acceptable,
the support must be appropriate to the claim and the statements must be
consistent with one another.
 Comparing and contrasting related readings: Exploring likenesses and
differences between texts to understand them better. Many of the authors
we read are concerned with the same issues or questions, but approach
how to discuss them in different ways. Fitting a text into an ongoing dialectic
helps increase understanding of why an author approached a particular
issue or question in the way he or she did.


Critical thinking implies that a reader is actively and constructively engaged in

the process of reading. The reader is continually negotiating what s/he knows
with what s/he is trying to make sense of. The role of background knowledge
and the student's ability to draw upon it are essential to critical thinking/learning.
It is not an easy task to incorporate higher level thinking skills into the
classroom, but it is a necessary one. For students to participate in the society in
which they live, they must have experiences which prepare them for life. In
order to become critical thinkers, it is essential that students learn to value their
own thinking, to compare their thinking and their interpretations with others, and
to revise or reject parts of that process when it is appropriate.

A classroom environment which is student-centered fosters student participation

in the learning process. Learning that is both personal and collaborative
encourages critical thinking. Students who are reading, writing, discussing, and
interacting with a variety of learning materials in a variety of ways are more
likely to become critical thinkers.

Teachers who encourage pre-reading discussions to help readers activate

prior knowledge or fill in gaps in background knowledge set the stage for critical
reading. They help students identify purposes for reading, formulate
hypotheses, and test the accuracy of their hypotheses throughout the reading
process. In addition, asking students to examine their own reading and learning
processes creates the awareness necessary for critical reading.

Post-reading activities that extend texts provide an opportunity for teachers

to check for learning. Transforming ideas from reading into artwork, poetry, etc.
is an evaluative, interpretive act that reveals the student's level of
understanding. Critical readers are active readers. They question, confirm,
and judge what they read throughout the reading process. Students engaged
in such activities are likely to become critical thinkers and learners.

How Do I Sharpen My Critical Reading Strategies?

Reading critically does not mean that you are criticizing the writer's message
but rather that you are assessing the validity and reliability of the writer's
material. Critical readers are also aware that they bring their beliefs, values,
experiences, and prior knowledge to the reading process. Critical readers ask
questions about themselves, the writer, and the writing. Below is a set of
questions to sharpen your critical reading strategies.
Menu of Critical Reading Questions