In the modern world, people are bombarded from all sides with images and stories of death, sex and betrayal - yet for all that, the 'C' word still has the power to shock.
The 'C' word: Cheat.
In the world of golf there is nothing more shocking than an accusation of cheating. And when it is world number two Phil Mickelson who is accused of resorting to nefarious means, that accusation is doubly - trebly - shocking.
But that's exactly what happened when US Tour journeyman Scott McCarron told the press exactly what he thought of Mickelson's decision to use a 20-year-old Ping eye 2 wedge in order to circumvent new rules limiting grooves on players' clubs:
"It's cheating," he said. "I'm appalled Phil has put it in play."
A lawsuit brought by golf firm Ping against the USGA back in 1990 means that the wedges cannot be retrospectively banned despite breaking the new rules.
Those rules have been brought in to stop players lashing it as far as possible and gouging the ball out of deep rough on to the green; it's a move that is designed to protect the way the game is played, retaining the premium on accuracy from the tee.
And what Mickelson - and a handful of other players - have done is to use a 20-year-old wedge in order to keep the extra spin, and make sure nothing changes.
Let's get it straight: Phil Mickelson is not cheating, and no doubt his lawyers will be reminding McCarron exactly why.
Cheating is doing something that you know to be against the rules for the express purpose of gaining an illegal benefit over the field.
What Mickelson is doing is somewhat grubbier. He is using a loophole.
That loophole is merely against the spirit of the rules, and he is using it for the express purpose of gaining a benefit over the field.
He's like one of those multi-millionaires - Lewis Hamilton, for example - who despite earning more money than they could possibly spend still insist on moving overseas to avoid paying taxes. Those taxes helped build the society which gave them their chance of stardom; but having won the lottery of life they turn their back on their fellow men for the sake of earning £10 million a year instead of £6m.
Mickelson's behaviour is equally despicable.
He couldn't be more in breach of the spirit of the game if he defecated into the 18th hole at St Andrews - during The Open.
McCarron is wrong to call Mickelson a cheat; but he is right to be openly disgusted at this piece of cheap skullduggery by a player who really should know better.
Nonsense of the week: Is there a single good reason why Rory McIlory would fly all the way to the Middle East, play in Abu Dhabi and Dubai - but skip Qatar, the tournament in the middle of the two? Anyone?
Stat of the week: Brandt Snedeker had a run last season of missing 10 cuts in 13 starts, but in his next 15 starts since then picked up five top-five finishes and another pair of top-10s. He is one of the nicest guys on the US Tour, and it's great to see him getting his game back on track.
Shot of the week: Big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros came close to defending his title at the Qatar Masters, and his 80ft birdie putt on the ninth green of the final round would have helped him on his way if Robert Karlsson hadn't played the round of the week to win.
Quote of the week: "The courtesy car driver was a bit excited to get his hands on the 745 I think - nice BMW! - and took off a bit quick. I was just looking at my phone and he suddenly slammed on the brakes, and by the time I looked up all I could see was a white Transit van halfway up the bonnet." England's Oliver Wilson describes the car crash that shook him up before his final round in Qatar.
Surprise of the week: How exactly did Scotland's Richie Ramsay not dominate in Qatar? He hit over 80 per cent of his fairways at a very respectable 287-yard average distance, found three-quarters of the greens and didn't putt badly - but finished tied for 32nd in Qatar. The mystery divide between playing well and scoring low has never been better illustrated.