Are the F-Bombs Getting Worse Here at Mother Jones? An Exclusive Investigation.

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Apropos of my suggested response this morning to the most obnoxious kinds of gotcha questions, David Bailey writes in comments:

Recommended answer: “Oh, go fuck yourself.”

This is off-topic, and I may not be the first to bring it up, but it seems as if Kevin’s posts have been a bit saltier recently. I have a hard time believing he would have written this a year ago.

Not complaining or criticizing, but I just thought it was interesting.

Come on. This was an homage to Dick Cheney, people! Do our schools teach nothing these days?

But am I, in fact, using the word fuck more often than in the past? This is surprisingly difficult to get a handle on. The problem is that my readers are all such potty mouths. According to Google, there have been 6,330 F-bombs on this blog since its move to Mother Jones, but as near as I can tell, 6,314 of them have been from commenters. Still, that leaves 16 for me. Let’s tot them up.

It turns out that David is right: I’ve already set a new personal best this year. At my current rate I’ll double my previous most obscene year (2010). The deeply researched chart on the right tells the tale, and as a personal favor to Swami Bhut Jolokia, I’ve even labeled the y-axis.

In my defense, I should point out that this total represents only about 0.15 percent of my blog posts, an average of just a bit over two per year. Not bad! What’s more, many of those were quotes of illustrious public servants like Dick Cheney. Still, I admit that if it were solely up to me these numbers would be far higher. However, (a) I know that casual F-bombs can put people off, and (b) my mother reads this blog. So I try to stay family-friendly most of the time.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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