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I"m having a serious argument with a friend on the status of the word "suck" when I used it about him by saying "You suck!" because he missed a train. We are both non-native carolannpeacock.com speakers. He claimed that I used it as a foul or slang term. I vehemently disagreed with him about it. I told him that the word "suck" can be used to describe something inefficient or not good enough as well like it is used in the example "Samsung mobile sucks".

Am I right to describe the use of the word "suck" in such context?


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edited Jun 9 "15 at 16:09
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psmears
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asked Jun 8 "15 at 20:42
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the_naivethe_naive
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Yes, you can use the word in the way that you have described, but it"s considered more harsh than polite, and it has somewhat vulgar overtones. How it"s regarded or received might be generational.

I typed is suck vulgar? on Google, and found mixed responses. Feel free to do the same if you want diverse opinions on the matter. I thought this excerpt from a blog post, though, was worth pasting into an answer here:

Some may not believe this, but suck — as in “Man, this class sucks” — was also in the raw obscenity category when I was a teenager. It was used plenty in the school hallways but not in front of your teacher and never in front of your mother. I remember some agitation by certain culturally-advanced youngsters who tried to railroad their elders into accepting sucks as a safe and harmless substitute for stinks. The elders weren’t having any of it, last I checked, but the liberalizing linguists seem to have carried the day. I have always assumed—rightly or wrongly, I do not know — that the word was originally intended to carry sexual overtones, which was the reason for its suppression. Today, the sexual overtones are either forgotten or are now acceptable in mixed company. I’m not sure which explanation disturbs me more.

I think you and your friend are unlikely to come up with an agreed-upon viewpoint, because you"re both right in a way. Feel free to use it on message boards and the like when you want to express a negative opinion, but realize you"ll risk sounding a bit uncouth to some when you do.

Then again, maybe I"m just showing my age here.

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