"The f-bomb is alive and well."
So says my college student son, surprised by its prevalence in daily conversation amongst strangers, form-fitting a variety of grammatical uses from adjective to participle, noun to verb. It also appears gender-neutral, an equal-opportunity employer of both male and female.
I’ve heard the argument that such use is not profane but rather cultural. “Words and meaning shift with the sands of culture,” or some such reasoning.
I wonder if it’s more of a matter of eliminating sacred, striking it from a standard list of social norms?
Sacred speaks of a divine source. From the word flows a sense of awe, respect and honor. A separation of use, perhaps, along the lines of “holy” in the Bible: set apart for a divine purpose. At its root, the word implies a Divinity behind the curtain, directing a production both entertaining and educational.