Some people say that I swear like a trucker. Those people are fucking right.
Obviously, I realize there is a time and a place for explicit language. With few exceptions, I never swear in any sort of professional environment or conversation. That being said, in social settings with people that have at least more or less crossed the weird threshold into adulthood, I see no reason to withhold a tasteful amount of cursing.
A tasteful amount of cursing? I realize, it’s a bit of an oxymoron. But according to BBC, we only swear about 0.5-0.7 percent of the time, depending on how much we talk. Additionally, they also reported that most children swear by the age of six. There are actually several types of swearing with different conations: descriptive swearing, emphatic swearing, abusive swearing, idiomatic swearing and cathartic swearing.
To elaborate here is an example of each; descriptive: “I want that fucking pizza,” emphatic: “I fucking want that pizza,” abusive: “fuck that pizza,” abusive: “which fucker ate my pizza,” idiomatic: “it’s fucked up that someone ate my pizza” and cathartic: “I’m attempting to relieve my resulting fucking anger after someone ate my pizza.”
Most language functions exist in the cortex and other specific areas of the left hemisphere. Swearing, however, is associated with the basal ganglia, an older, much more rudimentary part of the brain. I definitely think that every particular circumstance determines which, if any, type of swearing is acceptable, but I find myself strongly disagreeing with the idea that cursing in general is taboo.
One of the many stereotypes is that swearing implies a lack of intelligence. Well, buckle up bitches because researchers at the University of Rochester surveyed 1,000 people about 400 different daily habits ranging from singing in the shower to swearing and found that potty mouths typically have higher IQs.
Another is that athletes tend to swear a lot. As an athlete I admit that it’s pretty true, BUT there is a more scientific explanation than the assumed attribute of a dumb jock. According to Men’s Health, cursing can actually relieve anguish and generate physical energy by triggering a well-known stress-induced analgesia, BOTH of which are useful when engaging in an athletic activity.
Some of the other ways the use of explicit language enhances conversation in general are that it intensifies an argument by sharpening a point and that in moments of ecstasy it intensifies the climax by inducing the fight-or-flight response and releasing adrenaline.
The function of cursing that I most closely relate to is that it also allows us to more vibrantly communicate our emotional reaction to something and is actually a sign of intense honesty.
Speaking as a double major with a 3.8 GPA, I do not swear because I am uneducated. Speaking as an athlete, I do not only swear in situations demanding intense physical strain on my body. For the most part, I curse more to enhance my communication in situations where it is appropriate by my own standards.
The use of explicit language should not be judged by the words themselves, but by the context within which they are uttered and the intent with which they are used. If someone’s f-bomb is not contextually inappropriate nor said with malicious intent, I believe that person has every right to exercise their first amendment rights with whatever fucking words they so choose.