Author Topic: Why do some people swear so much?  (Read 5008 times)

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Offline Heorhij

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Why do some people swear so much?
« on: December 10, 2008, 10:39:05 AM »
I was just listening on my car radio about the charges against Gov. Blagojevic, and noticed that on that infamous tape, where he talks about selling the Senator seat, he uses the "F word" so many times.

Why do people swear, and why do some people swear so much, all the time? It seems to be especially common to politicians. In Ukraine, the Mayor of one very large (over 1 mil.) industrial city in the East of the country was caught on video talking with his deputy and using obscene words with an astonishing rate (something like 200 times in 5 minutes). The late President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, also was notorious for his habit of swearing loudly even in the Parliament hall. Now I see that US politicians are the same, at least some of them. Or maybe all of them? Is it like a "professional disease?" Does the "elitist" Obama swear, too?
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Offline EofK

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 11:15:41 AM »
Some people 'round these parts (especially teenagers) use profanity to make themselves appear tougher and also to shock people.  Thing is, though, they use it so often that the F bomb becomes a noun, a verb, an adjective, and adverb, a gerund, and all manner of other parts of speech that don't really make sense and therefore loses the shock value. 

I've heard many teachers say that profanity is a substitute for poor vocabulary.   ;D
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Offline FrChris

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 11:25:58 AM »
Perhaps people swear to fill in their own interior emptiness, and like EofK stated, puff out their egos.
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Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 01:35:11 PM »
I think it's because we havent bothered to put a censer button on all our cell phones.  I bet if we did, conversations would be a whole lot more fun, and also, help promote hand-voice coordination.


Like all things, used sparingly, curse words or in Spockian terms (as in Captain) "Colourful Metaphores",
can retain their effectiveness.  Problem is, they are overused.

To quote DC Curry, " Back in the day if you hollered at a girl and you called her B---h, she knew exactly what you thoughy of her and how you felt about her.  Nowadays, if you holler at a girl B---h, she's trying to figure out where she knows you from"

I think part of the problem is that we have not as a whole been taught to argue or discourse without anger or overt passion.  Think about what we are being shown on TV all the time by our politicians and celebrities.  The ones that get quoted the most often are the ones who yell, even nonsensically, at the audience.

Example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5FzCeV0ZFc

So, the only other way we see perhaps to enhance that is to use explicatives, even in a grotesque nature.  I'm not justifying this behavior at all, simply stating a reason why.

BTW, the youtube link is not in any way meant to be political, but it was simply the best example I could think of. 
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 01:38:10 PM »
I think it's because we havent bothered to put a censer button on all our cell phones.
Is that a button which sends out a cloud of incense when you press it? :D
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Offline serb1389

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 01:51:14 PM »
Most people I have asked this question to say that it is because swearing is the only way they know how to express how angry they are.  they cannot conceive of another way to truly tell someone how angry they are, how stupid the other person is, etc.  They don't know how to describe a "crazy" situation other than through cussing. Then that developed into "modern language" and people use it all the time now to express or explain or describe things. 
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 01:58:48 PM »
Most people I have asked this question to say that it is because swearing is the only way they know how to express how angry they are.  they cannot conceive of another way to truly tell someone how angry they are, how stupid the other person is, etc.  They don't know how to describe a "crazy" situation other than through cussing. Then that developed into "modern language" and people use it all the time now to express or explain or describe things. 

But then, if this is true, why are politicians angrier than other people? Or at least they seem that way? It just shocked me that Blagojevic used the F word with the intensity of some grotesque mobster in a black Tarantino comedy...
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 05:10:09 PM »
I come from a family (on one side) that swears a lot, and am of the opinion that it's nothing more than an innocent sub-cultural phenomenon for most of them. They swear because this is the language that is used among their circle of family and friends. They aren't trying to make a point, to be vulgar, etc., it's just the way that they have been taught from youth to talk. They know that it's not culturally acceptable to swear in certain contexts, but within the context of family/friend get-togethers, they see no problem using swear words. They don't even think twice about it.

Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 05:13:35 PM »
Quote
Is that a button which sends out a cloud of incense when you press it?

YARGH!

I meant censor.


Though that would be cool......
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 06:03:25 PM »
I come from a family (on one side) that swears a lot, and am of the opinion that it's nothing more than an innocent sub-cultural phenomenon for most of them. They swear because this is the language that is used among their circle of family and friends. They aren't trying to make a point, to be vulgar, etc., it's just the way that they have been taught from youth to talk. They know that it's not culturally acceptable to swear in certain contexts, but within the context of family/friend get-togethers, they see no problem using swear words. They don't even think twice about it.

Perhaps you are right, it may be just a family heritage. I heard my classmates swear when I was a schoolboy, but to me it was never a habit to swear, because I never heard obscene language in my family. And it's not like my dad was a dry, humorless type - actually, he loved all kinds of jokes, including "salty" jokes about women; but he just did not swear. I remember maybe two times when he was re-e-e-eally annoyed by something and uttered just one "bad" word, but then he would immediately turn beet-red and run away, and hide somewhere, because he could not forgive himself that he said THAT word. :)

Other families are so different though.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 06:03:52 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline VirSpeluncaeOrthodoxae

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2008, 06:19:27 PM »
I'm often guilty of this so here's my two cents: I don't know. Sailors/marines do it I guess to keep themselves uncivilized. I think the other guys are right. One of my confessors keeps reminding me "There's no swearing in Heaven." I've gotten better, I try to take this faith of ours seriously. I manage to get through most of life without a curse word, the rest of the time I try to make like Hank Hill and say things like "shucks" and "dang". It's the world we live in that such language is "tolerated." I do hear more swearing from some types of people more than others...but I don't want to be called "racist" etc. But then again I get called that every day anyway among other things.

On the other hand, "Frankly my dear I don't give a hoot" doesn't have the same weight.
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Offline EofK

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2008, 06:26:20 PM »
Granted, there's not as much force behind "leaping lizards!" but it can surely diffuse a tense situation.  My personal favorite is the Yosemite Sam style "rackafrackin so and so sassafrass grumble grumble."  I can't excuse myself from it, though, as I've also uttered a few phrases to melt a grandmother's ear.  There's something about low language that can express anger and frustration effectively (in some ways).
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Offline antiderivative

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2008, 06:52:47 PM »
Quote
I think it's because we havent bothered to put a censer button on all our cell phones.  I bet if we did, conversations would be a whole lot more fun, and also, help promote hand-voice coordination.

If we did that, many teenagers might sound like they speak in morse code.
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Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2008, 08:20:19 PM »
Quote
If we did that, many teenagers might sound like they speak in morse code.


Great!  then we cna finally understand them
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2008, 09:14:39 PM »
"Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully."
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2008, 12:48:58 AM »
Men who use profanity mixed with anger against their wives use it to instill fear.
It is a form of verbal abuse and can be very damaging to the souls of the couple.
Those horrible words can feel like a punch in the stomach if you are on the receiving
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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2008, 01:07:07 AM »
My personal favorite is the Yosemite Sam style "rackafrackin so and so sassafrass grumble grumble."
Personally, I like "SON OF A BISCUIT EATER!". ;D
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Offline Myrrh23

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Re: Why do some people swear so much?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2008, 01:36:31 AM »
"Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully."


"Cursing is the language of the Ignorant."

or

"Cursing is like a language's sodium lauryl sulfate. It strips you of dignity."-- Myrrh23
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 01:39:14 AM by Myrrh23 »
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