As far as I know, Battlestar Galactica (the original one) was the origin of the word “frack” (replacing another well-known f-word). In the recent remake, it became “frak” (a more typical four-letter word). The use of frak in the show was never excessive (like the frakin’ use of the frakin’ f-word in a frakin’ lot of frakin’ places, for frak’s sake) which was fine. Understandably, people need an expletive at times (like getting shot, or finding out that your wife – or you, for that matter – is/are a cylon). Sometimes, “well, gosh” just doesn’t cut it. So far so good.
Making this about a million times better, though, is the use of “frak” becoming more common outside the show. Just this week, characters on The Big Bang Theory and Criminal Minds used “frak” as it was intended to be used – to express shock/surprise/disgust at ongoing events in the show.
This is great for a couple of reasons:
- No need to offend the easily offended. “Frak” doesn’t refer to any body parts, bodily functions, sexual activity, or excretions (the main source of “swears”). So, there’s nothing to complain about. It’s just a made-up word that has been given “swear” status.
- Since “frak” is being used in the present, because of its use being demonstrated in the future, this provides an excellent example of time travel. Also, it explains where the word came from in Battlestar Galactica – they learned it from us.
Just kidding about that last one. Still, I think that reason #1 is legitimate. There have been any number of people who have written about the lack of “common courtesy” or politeness in today’s society (citing some people’s complete lack of awareness of the difference between public and private space, for example). I think we could use a few additional new expletives which would allow for the function of swearing without the additional rudeness. I’m accepting suggestions.