Monday, 15 March 2010

Why the #$%! do we swear?

Swears, also known as 'profanities'...we all know what the are. They are those 'bad' words that people should not use and are treated as 'taboos' across all cultures. Swearing is usually associated with feeling angry or frustrated. Yet n America, it is reported that 72% of men and 58% of women swear in public, and the same is true for 74% of 18-34 year olds and 48% of people over the age of 55...does this mean that Americans are constantly angry for no reason what so ever? Thats quite doubtful. This leaves us to suggest that swearing has intergrated it self with human communication and become quite normal to us, even though it is still looked down upon.

So why do we swear, knowing that we'll receive numerous hacky looks from people that might over-hear us? Well, psychologists has found that swearing may serve as an important function in relieving pain, like crying does for a small child. But as adults, we refrain from expressing negative emotions in public at least, so to substitute crying out loud...we swear at loud.

"Swearing is such a common response to pain that there has to be an underlying reason why we do it," - says psychologist Richard Stephens of Keele University in England, who led the study briefly described above.

So is it alright to swear? Well, according to the unwritten law of society, it is 'bad' and 'immoral' to swear and people are often disgusted to hear others use profanities in public spaces where children might happily hop around freely and stop gobsmacked upon taking in the tainted words, knowing that the words shouldn't be used, but don't know why. But then again, we all swear often, mainly to express one's frustration or anger, or to lessen one's pain. Imagine you're walking around your house barefooted, and you suddenly stump you toe at say....the edge of the door. It can happen to anyone, and it will happen! Usually you would shriek out a swear, maybe kick the door in with your good foot, who knows? But profanities definately do have some super power to numb some of the pain a person may experiance.

More information on swearing can be found on the links provided below:

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