It’s only when my parents make me decode my own speech that I realize how much of what we say is in the form of acronyms: there are Penn acronyms (DRL, UA, LT’s…), Internet-inspired acronyms (LOL, BRB, ROTFL) and acronyms for just about everything else (DMV, HSM…1, 2, and 3, USA). And floating within this acronym soup is the game that goes by the initials KMF: kill, marry, fuck.

Like all the best ones, this kid-friendly (note: sarcasm) activity is straightforward. You are offered three names and must decide which of those respective three you’d kill, you’d marry and you’d… well, you know.

Let me state the obvious: this is a dumb game. And it’s more than dumb: it can be dangerous if you use the names of people you know, as I fatefully learned at summer camp years ago. Because this profound philosophical question has no answer that will satisfy everyone: “kill” is obviously bad, “marry” implies the person is boringly safe and as desirable as we’d all like to feel, the last category manages to be just as unflattering as the first two.

Yet behind its vapid, judgmental and overall offensive surface, KMF has a redeeming quality — a valuable purpose, even. It provokes the question as to why we categorize people as we do: what makes someone “marry” versus “fuck” material? And for better or for worse, aren’t those two — at least sometimes — related?

All of these issues fall under the broad category — and within the broader spectrum — of love, and clearly our relationship with that vague and often anxiety-inducing concept is complex. The range is even evident within these pages; though most people connote “fuck” with college (and rightfully so! see page 3), our feature shows that “marry” has a presence on campus too (see page 10).

But let’s be honest, there's more fucking here than anything else. Because it doesn’t even matter if you’re celibate. As a scribble on a Van Pelt cubicle once taught me, “Penn is like unprotected sex. It feels good when you first get in, but nine months later you realize you were totally screwed.”

Here’s to you,