You Know What? #^*% This Economy

It’s a struggle to get consumers’ attention—and money—in this economy.

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Hollywood is throwing 17 A-listers into one movie (Have you seen the roster for “Horrible Bosses?!”), record labels are letting Charlie Sheen rap and the publishing industry, well, #^*% it.

Literally, the publishing industry is turning to profanity to get our attention.

One of the biggest breakout hits this year is “Go the F**ck to Sleep” a heartwarming book for frustrated parents everywhere who are tired of suppressing every profanity-laced thought and just want little Jimmy to settle down and go to sleep. And, then there was the reverse evolution of “Sh*t My dad Says,” a blog that was turned into a book AND a TV show.

And now, the latest vulgar book to hit store shelves is “The Elements of F*cking Style”from St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan Publishers. The publisher says the book, a play on the classic “Elements of Style” from Strunk & White “brings the subject of grammar out of academia and opens it up to a public that may swear like sailors but want to write like scholars.”

They offer this example of how it's different: In the original book, the difference between “its” and it’s” is explained in the sentence “It’s a wise dog that scratches its own fleas.” The new and bleep-ing improved version explains it this way: “It’s a lucky dog that is able to lick its own" you know what.

I don’t know about you, but I feel smarter already.

The question becomes, though, where do you go from here? We’ve gone from libraries banning books like “Of Mice and Men”for using words like “damn” and “tramp” to slapping the F-word with a well-placed asterisk on the cover.

What’s the next step, to have a book assault you in a profanity-laced tirade when you open it?

Look, no one likes a profanity-laced tirade more than me but let’s get real about what we put on the cover of books here — this sh*t has got to stop.

Fear and Other Words Starting With F:

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Contact Pony Blog

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.