Nature of Swearing

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  • Topic: Profanity, Curse, Minced oath
  • Pages : 4 (1261 words )
  • Download(s) : 51
  • Published : March 6, 2013
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The changed nature of swearing

One of the crucial characteristics of language is its constant change, its dynamism and development influenced by various factors, such as social, historical, cultural and political. This attribute of the language is clearly reflected in the vocabulary which may result in using some words more frequently, with a different connotation or an entirely unrelated meaning. One part of the vocabulary is considered to be a taboo. This is swearing and using curse words. Their usage has been different through time but nowadays, it seems, swearing has become more common, although still not acceptable. It is considered to be highly negative and some claim that only unintelligent people curse. This paper shall discuss the possibility that profanity has not only changed its primary function but has also a beneficial effect.

As it is believed by many researchers, cursing is human universal. “Every language, dialect or patois ever studied, living or dead, spoken by millions or by a small tribe, turns out to have its share of forbidden speech”(Angier). The swear words are very often the first words the people are interested in once they start to study a foreign language or just go on a vacation abroad. There is some fascination about these words which keeps them very much alive. They are part of our vocabulary as much as other words and people learn them early in childhood even though they do not have to comprehend the full extent of their meaning at the time. However, they understand that these are not ordinary words suitable for use in everyday life as one wishes. Apart from the broadcasting media or official meetings for instance where the usage of language is ensured by law to certain degree there are some unwritten rules describing when and what kind of curse word is more or less acceptable. “Language use can first be deemed vulgar, foul, bad, etc. only within a social context in which speaker, listener, setting, topic and other...
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