I was scanning the internet the other day and came across an article on Daily MailOnline regarding swearing and how “researchers” have determined it is good for us.
There was an actual study commissioned in England and presented to the British Psychological Society.
I thought, “Okay – this should be good,” and proceeded to read.
Evidently, the researchers surmised that, “Swearing is a harmless emotional release which could make you feel stronger, though only in moderation.”
It was then that I recalled hearing Rush Limbaugh reporting on something similar, quite a while ago. Sure enough, I found such an article from May, 2012 entitled, “Hell Yes: The Seven Best Reasons for Swearing” by Dr. Neel Burton, M.D.
Reason number one: Pain Relief. All right – I get that one. Stubbing your toe, closing the door on your finger, etc. will almost certainly cause one to blurt out something foul. Everyone does it, most likely.
Reason number two: Power and Control. Dr. Burton claims that “By swearing we show, if only to ourselves, that we are not passive victims but empowered to react and fight back. This can boost our confidence and self-esteem, and also provide the impetus for further corrective action to be taken.”
Well, we certainly know that in America today, it’s all about “self-esteem,” but it’s a stretch to claim that that foul language can boost one’s confidence.
Reason number three: “Instead of punching someone in the face or worse, we channel and disarm our anger by swearing instead.”
Yes, calling someone an f’ing a-hole is a lot more constructive and will certainly put the other party at ease.
Reason number four: Humor. Apparently “it represents a release from normal social constraints,” and dovetails with number five which is “Peer and Social Bonding.” The good doctor tells us that, “Swearing can serve to show that we belong in a certain group, or that we are able to be ourselves and so wholly comfortable with the members of that group. If done correctly, it can also signal that we are open, honest, self-deprecating, easy going, and barrel loads of fun.”
Reason number six: Self-Expression. “Swearing can be a way of showing that we really mean something or that it’s really important to us. That’s why swearing is so much a part of any sport. It also broadens our register and makes us more lively and interesting, being used, for example, to add emphasis or ‘punch’ to our speech.”
Okay, the heck with number seven. I’ve had enough of this nonsense.
Although the doctor includes a caveat at the end, that swearing should be done in moderation, he evidently is no student of human nature.
Anything one does is difficult at first, but, as the saying correctly goes, it gets easier. Foul language is no different!
In my opinion, swearing is just crass, vulgar, and completely unnecessary. Other than the occasional stubbed toe, it is ignorant and causes one to sound so.
I personally will not allow it in my home. My kids are well aware of it and don’t use such language. It’s simply a lazy way of expressing oneself.
I hear it constantly emanating from the twenty-somethings at the gym I frequent. They sound ridiculous, as every other word is “f’ing this” and “f’ing that.” These kids are all college-educated and have good jobs. The worst part about their language is, as the saying dictates, they probably don’t even realize it anymore, and that’s a shame.
I’m no prude – far from it – but in my opinion, if you can’t find a better way of expressing yourself – you should just shut up.
Foul language does not broaden one’s register or make one more interesting. It just is what it is – a poor substitute for good communication.
I believe this to be just more liberal claptrap of the ever-increasing “No Consequence” society we now live in.
So go ahead and swear to your heart’s content. Maybe one day you’ll actually hear yourself and discover what an idiot sounds like.