FAMOUS LEGAL PLEADINGS . . . A few years ago, The Smoking Gun awarded its Legal Document of the Year award to a brief that included the following sentence in one of its opening paragraphs: "In order to provide a context for the alleged crime, we must first examine the history of the word Fuck and its evolution in society."
The brief's author then goes on to do just that. Although there's more in the brief about the word's evolution than its history, it's interesting reading nonetheless. Thanks to the reader who emailed it to me. Obviously, he'd seen the post in which Dennis Kennedy thanked me for "leading the way in showing that lawyers can use the 'f-word' in their blog." It does feel good to stand for something.
My own personal history of the "f-word" also includes this story: a friend once bet me that I wouldn't be able to publish an Op-Ed about the word in a large-circulation newspaper. This was back in those pre-weblog days when I was writing a lot of Op-Eds, and I considered the bet a challenge. Three weeks later, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published this: "Tired of Gratuitous Profanity? You Don't Have to Put Up with It at the Movies."
Unfortunately, it's not one of my better efforts. It did strike a nerve, though. I know this because after the Op-Ed's publication, I received several glowingly positive letters from eighty-something grandmotherly types who, judging by the tone they used, were hoping to date me. It scared me so much that I never entered the dangerous and uncharted waters of writing about the "f-word" again.
On the other hand, I now know some great lines I can recommend to older single men who have an itch for eighty-something grandmotherly types and are hoping to . . . hook up.
I guess Dennis was wrong. There are some things I won't write on this weblog.