A high school teacher who was suspended and fined for using an expletive in Spanish is suing the Department of Education. Carlos Garcia, a teacher at the High School of International Business and Finance in Washington Heights, denies that he used the Spanish expletive for the c-word in front of his students, for which he was fined $15,000. But even if he did, he claims it has a different meaning: "It's an average, everyday word. No matter what it meant at some point, it's now like the word 'damn' or 'hell,'" said his lawyer Sergio Villaverde. He believes the DOE unfairly "considers it to mean 'fuck' and 'shit,'" and that "the word has different meanings depending on the context in which it was used."

The only problem is, nobody says what Spanish word Garcia used, and there are several possibilities! According to the entry on Spanish Profanity in wikipedia, there are a couple possibilities: concha/chucha, cono, cuca, micha, papo, etc (and that doesn't even get into regional phrases). Commenters on the Daily News also suggest it could have been carajo or puneta. Does it even make a difference which word he used? Or does his argument about the mutability of language ring hollow?