Why do we swear?

I do. I enjoy swearing. But I don’t know why.
As far as I’ve seen, people in all cultures and social classes do.
Go to a concert. If the singer say’s fuck, or any other swear work, the audience goes ape-shit. Weird.
Please give your opinion, but let’s keep it clean, guys. :wink:

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

Because breaking social taboos is exciting for people. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be taboos.

“Come on, Phonics Monkey–drum!”

because…oh shit,the hell with it. :wink:

Because it’s better to call some a “piece of shit” than pointing at someone and making bad impressions of farting noices at them.

And you don’t want to know about “fuck you”.

Sometimes, on this board, people swear brcause they have run out of ideas. I mean, like… ahhh fuck it you suck!

I think we choose words that appropriatly convey our situation or mood. And face it, some of our situations and moods stray into areas that can only be properly expressed with words that will shock, or hurt, or disgust.

The more interesting question to me personally is how do words become taboo in the first place, and why do some words manage to STAY taboo despite time and frequent use.

My dad insists that swearing is the result of a small vocabulary.

In that case, watching the Giants lose lessens his vocabluary greatly…

Yer pal,

Satan sez:

No offense to your Dad, Satan (that sounds a little strange to say…), but I think your Dad is superciliously engaging in uncritical moral sloganeering. I’ve been accused of having a large vocaulary, and I still like to swear like a druken sailor. Being a member of the intelligentsia does not have to equate to being effete. Swearing like goat-fucking shit-faced druken sailor has its place as a means for the id and superego to have their little hawg wrassle. :wink:

Dad sez:

(1) He is not commenting on morality.

(2) He is commenting specifically on people who use swear words constantly, even when inappropriate.

He also comments, “Swear words lose their impact when used too frequently.”

He was impressed, I must note, with your use of the word “superciliously,” even if he claims innocence of the term.

He also blames me for instigating this whole misunderstanding, but he’s blamed shit on me for years now…

Yer pal,

I agree w/ Satan’s dad that you shouldn’t use 'em too much. There is satisfaction to be had by letting off a stream of profanity, which could be lost with too much familiarity.

From one of the few who never swears (not out of prudence, more due to the fact that I grew up with a mother who sounds like a longshoreman), I think clever cursing is amusing. However most of what is heard is not clever, and just makes the user sound unimaginative and sort of, well, simple. Show some inventiveness, why always fall back on the same six or seven words, whatever order you put them in?

I have to back up Satan’s Dad also. There’s nothing so shocking as a string of cursing from someone who “never swears” and there’s nothing so satisfying as to hear the “I’ve never heard you swear before.” and/or “Must be something pretty bad for you to be swearing.” afterwards.

Your Official Cat Goddess since 10/20/99.

“I get along well with everybody.” --I.M.F.

Because “Ouch, that hurt, watch it !” doesn’t convey the true feelings, nor vent the true feelings when your buddy drops a sldgehammer on your toe.

People swear cuz they don’t have the words or patience to express how they really do feel about what is happening to themselves. like, duh.

I think it is the human equivalent of an animal growling. It happens when:

You’re attacked,
You’re attacking something,
You’re hurt,
You’re hungry,
You’ve had a bad day at work.

As to the origins of swearing, most dictionaries blame it oddly on the Germans…
Item or invention I do not know.

If, while i’m playing “Spades” on my computer, my digital partner causes me to go set I let loose with a very satisfying string of obsenities. Nobody else around, just me and “Hal”. Oh yeah, and my cat, who’s no more impressed than Hal.
But it still feels good.
I think cussing allows us to vent frustration without being violent. And that, as Martha (fresh eggs) Stewart would say, is a good thing.