The media and book publishers also love this kind of use-without-usage approach. You’ll see headlines with “f—ing” and self-help books with “f*cked” in the title. The emphasis here is usually on the word itself (theoretical edginess conferred by the edgy word), rather than context, timing, or creativity (the general art of cursing).

The d—-ing approach ends up suggesting that we, the voters and readers, are secure enough in ourselves to hear Beto O’Rourke say our state of affairs is fucked up, but simultaneously just dainty enough to be uncomfortable seeing the word spelled out in full.

Who is this for, though? If you don’t like cursing like this, it’s hard to imagine one asterisk resolves the issue for you, like placing a paper napkin over a hole in the wall. Even if you like the cursing O’Rourke, dashing out words on T-shirts would seem to push him right into “corporate attempts at edginess.” (It’s the *!#^ weekend; come on down to Buffalo Wild Wings.)