Friday, February 5, 2016


People must think I have a foul mouth. Maybe I do. I haven't really considered it till now.

Take for instance a family reunion a few years back where one of my relatives thought that a karaoke machine would be a good source of entertainment to accompany drinking copious amounts of beer. This was a good thing for several members of my family who have the gift of music and great voices. Unfortunately, I'm not in that subset of Murphys. So you can understand my apprehension to get up and sing in front of anyone. But it looked fun, and what better place is there to try something than in the safe confines of a family reunion? Still, I had my doubts. So I recruited my brother and his then four year old daughter to get up sing with me. We flipped through the catalog while one of my uncles with a golden voice crooned yet another Sinatra tune. I decided right then and there that if we were going to do it, we'd mix it up and put some funk into the reunion. The song I selected was "Play That Funky Music".

It didn't go well. I'd have to say that "Play That Funky Music" is not a wise choice for an audience of senior white folks. Duh. What I obviously didn't take into account was the audience. Most had never heard this song before. That was immediately apparent as I scanned the audience one verse into it. I saw a lots of confused and unhappy looks. By the time we got through the chorus, my Dad was frantically waving us down and signalling for us to stop. So we did. His anguished questioning afterward was: how could we -- me, my brother and his four year old daughter -- how could we be singing a song about the "F" word at a family reunion?

Funk,  Dad. The word was funk. 

Yeah, pretty good. Apparently, all my relatives think I have a foul mouth.


Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I got a one-word SMS response from my kid brother. It said "okf".

Upon receiving the text, I assumed that he had fat-fingered a letter "f" when he typed, "ok". I dismissed it and moved on.

But then a few minutes later he replied with another "okf" to something else. Brendan's texting is typically precise. He rarely butchers things more than once.

So curious, I asked what the "okf" was all about. I had never heard/read it before.

It should be noted that other than fat-fingering, I never ascribed any meaning to the trailing "f" here; my mind was simply pure in wonderment.

He replied: "Okay Fine".

He immediately followed up with an explanation that the IT professionals from India like to say "Okay fine" in place of the simple, "Okay" when they are in agreement on something.

Okay fine. I got it.

I listened for the "Okay fine" on my next conference call with my colleagues in India. Suddenly, that's all I heard. It was as if somebody turned on the Okay Fine spigot and it was flowing freely like never before.

I decided right then that I'd adopt this saying in my own speech, and begin sprinkling the shorter "okf" in my SMS messages as well.

So the first chance I got, I sent an "okf" to my buddy Fred.

There was a pause before the bubble indicated he was replying back to me. He didn't mention anything about the "okf".

I replied with another "okf" shortly after.

Fred didn't ask. But he noticed. When I told him later about "okf", he laughed and said that he thought I was saying "Ok F*cker" in my replies to him.


So keeping score, in addition to all present at the Murphy family reunion, Fred also thinks I have a filthy mouth.

Okay fine. It's okay that Fred et al think I have a filthy mouth, but I never expected my wife to say the same thing.

But sure enough, using "okf" with Katherine brought the same confusion that Fred experienced. In fact, she vehemently protested with lots of exclamation points to stop texting,"okf" in my replies to her.

I asked her why.

She replied that it wasn't nice.

I pressed and asked her what she was talking about.

She stated that I shouldn't send "okf" because the single letter "F" means a lot of things, most of which are not nice to say.

Okay fine. Who knew "okf" would cause so much consternation?

In any case, lots of people think I have a dirty mouth. Okf, maybe I do, but I haven't considered it till now.

Happy Friday. Thanks for reading.