This week a list of derivatives of arguable the most offensive word in the English language, c**t, has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as part of the new words list for March 2014.
Since 2000 the OED has been updated quarterly in order to offer an authoritative, up-to-date catalogue of the evolving modern language. But what exactly does it say about Generation Y when the most recent additions to the word glossary are adjectives like c**ted, c**ting, c**tish and c**ty?
Along with most of my peers I've got a pretty foul mouth and have been known to drop F bombs like they're going out of fashion, which if the OED is anything to go by, they could well be.
I hold my hands up to using the C word more often than my mother would like (which FYI is never), but I still believe there's a time and a place to tell someone to "c**t off". I squirm when a lad shouts "let's get f*cking c**ted" as he racks up jager bombs in All Bar One, despite not giving it a second thought when I declare my eyeliner to be c**ty when it runs out mid-application.
A poll of my male and female friends reveals I'm not alone in my c**tish language and if you listen close enough the four letter word is pretty common place.
Pop culture is dripping with c**ts. While in 1977 you had to be over 18 to hear John Travolta boldly announce: "It's a decision a girl's gotta make early in life, if she's gonna be a nice girl or a c**t," in the disco flick Saturday Night Fever, these days you just have to hop on Twitter to see teen idols drop the C word - complete with hashtag...
Just called this paparazzi a CUNT. So before he makes breaking "news" out if it. Ill just say it. Ha-Ha #CUNT— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) September 4, 2013
Not to mention New York-born rapper Azealia Banks' repeated use of the word in the 2012 hit '212' (which I for one have revelled in singing along to) and the fact she refers to her fans as "Kuntz" on social media. It's no surprise we've become desensitised.
In fact, people find it amusing. I mean we all laughed when the BBC's James Naughtie called Tory MP Jeremy Hunt "Jeremy C**t" on Radio4, and when discussing with my friends and colleagues I found fans of the sheer crudeness of the word.
They're more than happy to call their closest pals a "see you next Tuesday" as some sort of modern day term of endearment, or shout it at the heavens when they stub their toe just because they "like the sound of it".
But when we get down the bare bones it's still pretty shocking. Looks like we've forgotten what c**t actually means. It's a vagina, people! A vag! In the US the term is almost exclusively used to describe a woman, which if you think about it properly - abasing women to nothing more than a sexual organ - is kind of offensive.
If someone called me a c**t and REALLY meant it, I'd be taken aback and pretty f*cking offended - but I suppose that's the point.
In recent decades the feminist movement has attempted to take on the word as their own, much like the gay community and "queer", citing we "shouldn't be afraid of it", but as Germaine Greer said but as Germaine Greer said on the BBC Three show Balderdash & Piffle, it is still "one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock." Which I'm inclined to think is a good thing.
I'm not scared to use the word - but I'd rather it didn't become part of my everyday - let's hold on to some of the impact.
In the end, whether it's used to put down women, a feminist is trying to reclaim it, some tanked up douchebag's proudly declaring to anyone who'll listen that he's absolutely "c**ted", a c**t is a c**t is a c**t and you certainly wouldn't call your mum one.
This article was originally published on MyDaily.