10 January 2008

The rudest word in English... pardon?

I recently came across a website with the following quote, allegedly from an English schoolboy to his teacher: My mummy says pardon is a worse word than fuck. The site goes on to state that there are occasions where a Gentleman might say "fuck", but never, not to save his life, would he ever say "pardon".  It's funny that we're brought up being told the correct way to speak is in a way nobody actually speaks.

However, people do say pardon, and I think the author missed the reason why the word is worse than fuck: only angry people say it. Seriously, listen to yourself and to others: only when you're upset will you say it, while you might tell your best friend to "fuck off" without meaning it.

"Fuck" does not unambiguously indicate a dislike for the other person, but "pardon" does, hence it is a far ruder word.

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