How bad is the usage of the word suck in English? Is this "bad boy" language or commonly used?
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It is certainly colloquial, and there are formal settings in which I wouldn't use it. Wiktionary marks it as "colloquial", and Merriam-Webster even as "slang". That being said, the word is not as "bad-boy" as many others, and is even acceptable in formal writing, depending on your audience. One famous example that immediately comes to mind is Roger Ebert's review of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo":
In fact, Mr. Ebert, an acclaimed and well-respected film critic with an impressive record, went on to publish an entire book titled "Your movie sucks".
In the 1980s and 90s "suck" was considered foul language and was used to create a shocking effect. As it has gotten to be more mainstream, it still retains an informal feel to it.
Now it depends on how you use it. It is much less offensive and kind of even friendly to greet bad news shared by a pal with "wow, that sucks", but still pretty mean to say "you suck." American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson sings a cute love song that says "My life would suck without you."
Seth Stevenson wrote about suck back in 2006 in Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2146866.
On a similar note, and just for amusement, here are some similar thoughts about pimp: http://evolvingenglish.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html
protected by tchrist Jul 2 '14 at 2:42
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