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Parts of speech Or how to tell one fucking word from another

For many this is a real eye-roller! When the teacher started talking about parts of speech, we would think, “Who cares! This is not something I’ll need to use in a job or real life.”

But parts of speech are important when you sit down to talk to a child about how his or her writing sucks.

“Your verb tenses are all wrong,” you say. What is a verb and why is it tense?

Verb tenses will be another blog post, but if you don’t know a verb from a noun, then all is lost.

When writing blogs, not knowing one part of speech from another can also get you in trouble and make you look less than professional.

This blog series is intended to help you become a better communicator about your business or within your company, but also to provide information so you can help your kid(s) with homeschooling when he/she/they come to you with questions, like “What’s a verb, and why is it tense?” To that end I am going to simplify things by focusing on one word as an example: fuck. (As in: Fuck COVID-19!) It is a very flexible word and can be used as most every part of speech.

These blogs are intended for your eyes only, and not those of your children. Hopefully, they will add some humour to your day, as well as be informative.

It also describes how many are feeling about things right now. (Fuck COVID-19!)

It is just a word, like any other, but if it offends you then just mentally substitute another word (like fork, as they do on the TV show The Good Place) when you are reading this. I apologize for not apologizing.

So here goes: how to tell one fucking word from another.

Noun: COVID-19 is such a mind fuck. (or) COVID-19 has really affected my concentration; I feel like such a fuckwit.

  • In this sentence fuck is a noun: a person, place or thing.

Verb: Fuck COVID-19! (or) Fuck off.

  • In this sentence fuck is a verb (an action word).

Adjective: This time of self isolation has led to some fucking beautiful realizations.

  • In this case, fucking modifies beautiful which modifies realizations, so it is part of an adjective phrase.

Adverb: Who is doing all the fucking cooking in this house? Do we have to actually eat three meals a day?

  • Here it is an adverb describing/modifying the verb cooking, which is part of the verb phrase ‘is doing all the fucking cooking.’

Interjection: Oh fuck! I was in a Zoom meeting and forgot my microphone was on when little Jenny came in the room to ask my why the verb was tense.

  • Here the f-word expresses dismay, but it could also express joy or surprise: Oh fuck! The curve is flattening! Or Oh fuck! Don’t jump out like that. You made me spill my last glass of wine.

But, despite its usefulness and flexibility, there are a few parts of speech that the word fuck can’t be because they are specific words.

Conjunctions: and, but, for, nor which, while

These are words that are usually used to connect two sentences that are dependent on each other.

Examples:

  • I neither give a fuck, nor do I care whom you fuck, as long as he/she is COVID-19 negative.
  • I’ll fucking stay here, while you fuck off because you are breathing too loudly.

Prepositions: about, with, until

These are words that are used with nouns and pronouns as part of the sentence that describes them.

Examples:

  • I don’t give a fuck because I’m going with him for a porch visit or driveway drinks.
  • With or without you, I’m leaving on this fucking trip to the grocery store. I need to get out of the house.

Pronouns: me, you, she, he, they, us

These are words that substitute for a name.

Examples:

  • He fucked up and did not buy toilet paper or yeast!
  • You are a fucking genius to pivot your business in this economic downturn.

You can see that the words that we use in sentences and don’t even think about are those little annoying parts of speech that can really fuck up how we talk or write. So, they are important.

If you’d like to chat about the little annoyances of grammar, usage and punctuation, please reach out to me at jill@writeoncommunicationservices.com.

Hope you have a fucking great day! (Used as an adjective here.)