Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Changing Swear World

And now for something totally different...

Have you noticed how kids 'swear' so much more these days? The F Bomb is less of a bomb and more of a noun / verb / adjective / adverb and all things in between. Words for defecation, urination, and sex are bandied about like there's no tomorrow. And let's not even think about often blasphemies occur and folk taking the Lord's name in vain. It really makes you wonder where the world's headed.


They're not really swears anymore.

Think about it. Those words just aren't taboo and that's why they get bandied around. A strong word for poo? Whatever! Blasphemy? I'm not religious! Sodomy? Meh!

Yet you just try walking into a restaurant and calling someone an N Bomb (racist swear) and you'll hear the sort of silence that followed the swears of old. The C Bomb (sexist swear) is also a crowd startler. In fact, while other racist and sexist terms don't quite have the same bite when said with a wry I'm-kidding grin in your home, you wouldn't use them in public, and even when you use them at home you make sure not to add strengthening words like 'filthy' to it.

So yeah, people don't really swear much more than they used too. It's just that what counts as swears for the generations before don't for us and vice versa and that culture clash has really made it look like we do. We just don't take those particular words seriously and that's disempowered their verbal punch (unless used around or towards cultural groups, such as our elders, who still care about them).

Interesting, huh?

1 comment:

  1. Actually, the C bomb isnt all that big a bomb where I live either (Glasgow, UK). Here youngsters regularly shout it across the street at their friends, usually preceded by the words accompanied by the words "Hey you, how are ye, ye wee [c]. I've even heard it used (affectionately) to refer to someones girlfriend.