Is there no end to the debate over who can or can't use the N-word? It has flared up again with Tim Allen's recent argument that white comedians should use the word “nigger” as opposed to “n-word,” arguing that the euphemism has become more offensive than the word itself.
I guess the argument will continue for as long as the standard for use of the words depends on who it offends. So, I suggest that everyone stop using "fuck," "mother-fucking," and assorted variations because the word offends so many. The preferred usage, if there is any at all is the "F-word." Or, "frigging," which is close enough.
So, how do we settle this debate? By the number of people it offends? By who it offends? (If it offends African Americans we can't use the N-word, but offending modest people by using the F-word doesn't count?)
If you value free speech, you may remember the "Free Speech Movement" at the University of California at Berkley in which "..nine people, only 3 of them being students, were arrested for displaying the word 'fuck' on a poster around campus."
My own practice is that I don't use either word in full (except in this post). I believe that we should take into account people's feelings. But at the same time, I don't like to see the principle that you-must-not-use-that-word applied unevenly.