Comics have agreed to limit usage of the C-word in a further attempt to preserve its survival as the last remaining shocking curse. Experts have warned that unless its rampant over-use is curbed, the C-word could reach mere F-word effectiveness by the beginning of 2012.
"What people need to understand," said Brendan Duffy, speaking at the Curses Under National Threat Symposium, "is that the C-word gained its notoriety over generations and can't be replaced overnight."
With the aid of a wipe board, Duffy then demonstrated how its distinctive venomous edge was developed through time with the help of Special Brew and the expertly spittled mouths of a few dedicated, belligerent drunks. Its unique taboo status was then rigorously upheld by limiting all further exposure to a four-word mnemonic invented by the proofreaders at Penthouse.
But since the first wave of shocked laughter met a slip of the tongue during an otherwise grindingly dull stand-up gig in Basildon, its use has exponentially soared.
"Soon CBeebies will pick up on it, and then we're all screwed," said Duffy, "So, until we can restore safer levels of jaw-drop, we're urging comics to abide by the quotas and substitute alternative swear words for at least 20% of all punch lines."
Duffy admitted it was going to be tough and would need audience understanding when anticipating punch lines, but when a reporter for the Daily Telegraph suggested comics simply use some form of joke mechanism instead, Duffy explained, "Well, you would say that wouldn't you, you're a cunt."