Insulting: Language and Swear Words

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Luis A.Galindo López. Has insulting become a habit?

Nowadays the use of swear-words has become a normal form of speech among population, and probably even more extensive among teenagers. The reasons why insulting is so widespread in modern society may range substantially amongst the different social groups in which society is stratified. It is clear that nowadays insulting might seem to be more natural than some decades before, but this fact becomes very clear once we take into account the evolution concerned to freedom of speech. This aspect does not mean that insulting is something new in today's culture; using swear words in our daily speech is as ancient as life itself, but because of the abovementioned freedom of speech, we are used to hearing or reading this part of our vocabulary in any circumstance, whether on television or on radio or on any situation. One of the main means for the use and, consequently, for the learning of these words is television. It is almost impossible not to watch a film or a television program in which a swear word is not mentioned. It is on television where people learn not only the meaning of swear words but also the situation in which has to, or might, be used. A very different aspect is to try to analyse whether insulting has become a habit in our society or just a mean of showing different emotions before a particular situation. Insulting is not just using words with more or less strength in their meaning, but it also implies a deliberate increase in the tone of the utterance. By intensifying the tone of our speech when we insult means an attempt to let clear the seriousness of our intimidation or threaten.

To affirm that insulting has turned out to be a habit in the use of language in modern society might represent a risky statement, but it is clear that is not unusual or strange to hear these sorts of words in any situation because all in all they are...
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