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Fuck: Word Taboo and Protecting our First Amendment Liberties

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1572487116
ISBN-10: 1572487119
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a spirited expansion on his law review article, "Fuck," Ohio State Univ. law professor Fairman explores the origin and the affect of perhaps the most notorious word in the English language. Fairman begins with a catalog and limited history of the word, including usages sexual and non-sexual. In tracking down the word's origins-largely unknown-and the abundance of court cases involving it, Fairman highlights the long struggle of conservative forces to expel that word, and other forms of speech, from American society, in direct opposition to the first amendment. Fairman also addresses the downfalls inherent to the amendment, including the exception for speech used to incite violence, and the myriad of punishments used, at state and national levels, to deal with those exceptions. Drawing from a vast selection of historical documentation, Fairman also explores the nature of taboo and related trivia, such as the word's usage across gender lines. Austere and informative, Fairman's social history is uncompromising in its vigilant defense of first amendment rights, both in spite of his subject's potential for offense, and because of it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Christopher M. Fairman is a Professor of Law at Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He is a leading national expert in civil procedure, legal ethics, and the word "fuck." He is a gifted teacher with awards and recognition at the high school, college, and university level.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sphinx Publishing (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572487119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572487116
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steve Reina VINE VOICE on September 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
FIRST A NOTE ON STYLE: Contrary to the statements of author Christopher Fairman, it is not the position of this writer that any reviewer treating his book or the law review article from which it stems is required to actually use the title of his work instead of some euphemism such as the f word or [...] in writing about this material. In a free society truly vibrant discourse is promoted when the participants are permitted to express their reactions as they see fit free of either any mandatory editorial exclusions or in this case inclusions.

THAT BEING SAID...Fairman has produced one of the greatest pieces of legal analysis it has ever been my pleasure to read.

As a practicing lawyer for over twenty years it has rarely been my privilege to see such a masterful melding of psyhology, history and of course legal authority in laying out the law's position on a topic such as here where Professor Fairman discusses the permissible uses of the f word.

As pointed out by Fairman the f word enjoys a particularly taboo status in American language owing to its allusion to an activity so antithetical to the Puritan ethic of chastity which seems to play such a pivotal role in ostensible American morality. Significantly a tracking of especially prohibited curse words from other cultures shows that the f word does not assume the same forbidden status owing to the fact that the word isn't so threatening to their own cultural pretensions.

Indeed the word is so forbidden here studies have shown that it excites primal emotional responses similar only to discovering a snake or suddenly observing someone vomit. It is perhaps for these reasons many react viscerally rather than with the intellectual distance one might typically associate with the use of the spoken word.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SILHOUETTE on October 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
Let me tell you something... F*cking Amazon's got the balls to let you see this word if it can make a buck off it, but when I wrote a quadruple-platinum review exercising my motherf-ing right to say it, c*cks%cking Amazon wouldn't print it. So let me just say to them, "F#*~ o+f, a-h*les!!!!" But everybody else should get this highly excellent work of book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William R. Toddmancillas on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An important book on free speech. Odd that I was not able to include
in review the word prominently appearing in the title. Rather makes
the case that this word is controversial, misunderstood, and should
not be restricted as per First Amendment Rights.

Book arrived quickly in excellent condition
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