I wonder how many of my friends could be persuaded to observe a moratorium on "fake" -- what I've begun to think of as "the other 'f' word."
Yes, I understand that "the 'f' word" -- the original -- is crude and offensive to many ears. It's a word that should never be uttered around children, and a word that in fact should only be used -- if you feel it necessary to use it at all -- in the company of others who are comfortable with its use. Its overuse has diminished its shock value; used as a noun, a verb, an adverb, an adjective, or an interjection, many of us are now inured to it, and perhaps weary of it. I really don't want to get into a discussion over this "'f' word," however. If I don't already know how you, personally, feel about the word, odds are excellent I am familiar with your position. Seriously. I've heard it ALL before.
One thing "the 'f' word" isn't: In and of itself, it's not a judgmental term. That cannot be said of "fake" -- "the other 'f' word."
I am tired of seeing/hearing others dismissed as "fakes." Fake friends, fake Democrats, fake Republicans, fake fans, fake Christians, "Oh, she's such a fake." I grit my teeth when I see/hear someone loudly proclaiming, "But I am not a fake." What, exactly, is the intended take-away from such a statement? Are the rest of us supposed to retreat to our respective corners for a good hour or so of self-examination, so that we may emerge as enlightened beings who shun fakeitude? News Flash: Just because someone has a different view/belief on their role/responsibilities as a -- friend, Democrat, Republican, fan, Christian, PERSON -- does not mean they're a "fake" anything.
You can keep using the term to describe fake diamonds, fake furs, fake paintings, fake crab; you can fancy it up and use the term "faux" if you wish; none of the aformentioned items is subject to interpretation. Either a stone is a diamond or it is not. Same can be said for fur, paintings, crab, etc. It's OK to talk about a fake identity or a fake ID.
But for anything that's open to interpretation as to how one should properly act ... find another term. Please. Or maybe, just refrain from passing judgment. Restrict critical commentary to the action, rather than attacking the person. That's always an option.
In all things -- even in criticism -- be kind.