A curiosity of the Kowalski experience has been the discovery that I have a typo on Kowalski’s page: there’s a word that’s unintentionally grammatically correct in there! No prizes for finding it.

A Few Strong Words

One of my pet hates is the warning that precedes many a TV programme, that it ‘contains strong language’. Does it really, I ask. What they mean is that the ‘f’ word will be used. Just how strong is that? Could we put it to the test? How about seeing if it beefs up some famous speeches?

How much stronger, for example, would Dr Martin Luther King’s famous address have sounded if he’d told us, I have a f—ing dream? And would Kennedy have impressed us more if he’d exhorted us, Don’t ask what can my f—ing country do for me, but ask what can I do for my f—ing country? Or, ich bin ein f—ing Berliner? Would Churchill have stiffened our f—ing sinews if he’d told us, We shall f—ing fight them, on the f—ing beaches! Would Victoria have been any more severe had she been not f—ing amused?

            Great literature might have been strengthened. What if Melville had instructed us to Call me f—ing Ishmael; if L.P.Hartley had informed us that, The past is a foreign f—ing country, and would Dickens have set a stronger scene with, London. Michaelmas f—ing Term lately over, and the f—ing Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn f—ing Hall.

            Might even Shakespeare have taken a little strengthening medicine, with Shall I comf—ingpare thee to a summer’s day?

            I don’t f—ing think so.

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