Here is another culturally astute article from Mark Sayer’s website considering the subject of swearing and swear words around the world, as he explains:
“As humans we do not always share with those around us our deepest fears and feelings. We become very adept at wearing masks in public and learning to self censor. However swearing is a fascinating insight into how sometimes our shames and fears can burst to the surface in moments of stress and pressure.”
Language and words are always relative and not absolute, having different meanings to different people in different situations at different times in history.
I agree with Mark’s conclusion about the use of the ‘f’ word in English speaking cultures – but would add that it’s use is now so ingrained in the everyday language of so many that it has become background noise, losing its ability to shock and disarming it’s effect as an expletive. Most of us don’t even flinch when we hear it – and very few under the age of 50 are overly offended by its use, even if we don’t use the term ourselves.
Does this mean that new swear words will develop? Maybe around celebrity or consumerism? Will pornography and our new found “sexual freedom” move our focus away from sexually orientated swear words?
Who knows? Lets wait and see 🙂