Fairman establishes that most current usages of the word have connotations distinct from its meaning of sexual intercourse. The book discusses the efforts of conservatives in the United States to censor the word from common parlance. The author says that legal precedent regarding its use is unclear because of contradictory court decisions. Fairman argues that once citizens allow the government to restrict the use of specific words, this will lead to an encroachment upon freedom of thought.
Thoughts? I haven’t read the book, just saw this article featured on Wikipedia’s homepage. I would agree that in normal conversation, while “fuck” can be used in a literal sense, it’s much more often used figuratively – a lot like many other taboo words. (Think of phrases like “what the hell” and “____-ass”.) I’m not the biggest fan of psychoanalysis as an analytical framework, though, despite feeling that in its time it was perhaps a necessary breath of fresh air. Perhaps an interesting, nonconventional angle to help you think outside the box, but not a theory I like to guide my scholarship with, in general.