Friday, 12 October 2007

Why we curse

I recently was aksed to speak at a public meeting that was to be held in a Unitarian church. The subject matter was one on which I have very profound convictions - and in which the present provincial government is behaving very badly indeed. But my concern was that since I feel so strongly about these issues, profanity could well escape my lips, since I speak without notes or script. And I could no sooner swear in church than I could vote conservative.

This piece from the New Republic analyses why we resort to bad language, and what happens when bad words are deprived of their power.

As I think Michael Flanders once remarked, I am very much against the everyday use of swear words. If we use them too much, we have nothing left for special occasions. He was the lyricist of that archetypal song of the sixties "Pee, Po, Belly, Bum, Drawers"

I don't particularly mind the swearing but I know my mother, who was an English teacher, would say, "You're using the same word too often."
Margueritte Patten

And the CBC now reports that swearing at work can actually be good for you!

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