Swearing: What the Fudge...?

2016-08-15 06:00

Have you noticed how more and more people swear blatantly in public as of late?  I must admit, I also fall into this category of uneducated bliss, especially when I’ve stripped my thread” (sic) for someone or something.  So I have decided to make a conscientious effort to stop swearing whenever I can.  But how are you supposed to react and speak when the frigging’ words want to come out on its blooming’ own?

To understand better, lets look at why we swear in the first place.

With the popularity of cable television today, we are exposed to swear words on a daily basis.  So much so, that some very blatant swear words, are not even registered as such anymore and becomes a part of our daily speech.  The Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Wolves of Wall street’ for example, set a new record by using the F-word 506 times during the 180 minute long movie.  Four-five-six!

People most often swear to emphasise a particular point or to stress their emotion.  It is also commonly used in social groups to break taboos of society, as well as create bonds by wordplay.

According to studies, swear words are not even stored as words, but as emotions.  Whereas normal language is stored in the Broca and Wernicke areas of the brain, swear words are stored in the limbic system that controls emotion and drive.

Let’s say you bump your toe on the wall or couch:  “For goodness sake!” might be a better thing to say, even though you were thinking “$%@&#*”.  There is of course nothing good about it. (Ouch!!)

Or if some moron drives like an idiot and almost pushes you off the road:  “You dipstick, are you nucking futs!?” might be a better utterance.  Although this won’t necessarily get you out of a road rage incident, calling someone an ‘oil measuring tool’ would go down far better than saying “Jou ma se ....!”  Now THAT would more than likely guarantee you to get thundered thick’ (sic)!

South Africans especially, can be very colourful when it comes to swearing.  With our plethora of languages it is easy to borrow a word from any one of the many, other official languages, and use it as your own.

Have you ever wondered what the oldest English rude word is?  Believe it or not… 'fart'… is one of them.  It has been found to be in use as long ago as the year 1250.  This was 50 years prior to the invention of the word ‘buttocks.’

In most of the cases, it is not the word that you use, but rather the way you use it, that makes it rude.  For example here is a nice way to be rude… Instead of telling your boss exactly what you think of him/her you could say:

“I hope the rest of your day is as nice as you are…”

Very lame I know, but it will take a while to sink in and even then, they are not guaranteed to fathom whether it was an insult or a compliment.

Words also change meaning throughout the ages and are left to be interpreted as you wish.  For example you wouldn’t know what a pintle’ or mawkin’ means today.  But back in the 1400-1500’s everyone knew the meaning of a swiving’ as well.

Having children in the house doesn’t make it any easier for us parents.  Kids are like sponges when it comes to sayings and swear words.  I am usually prone to quick excitability and can spit swear words like an automatic machine-gun when called for.  Thank goodness my children seemed quite deaf to my utterances at those times, as I have not once overheard them say anything out of the ordinary.

They seem to have developed their own language at school though.  Particularly when it comes to show emotion or give effect to a story line.  I don’t understand it of course, as I don’t speak teenager

The usual being something like this:  “O-M-G, what the fudge? Shut the front door you son of a monkeys’ snickerdoodle…!”  And I’m like, what about Oxygen and Magnesium?  Who is making fudge?  Why is the front door open?  What do monkeys have to do with noodles?

Either way, I will never understand their language…

Back in the day it was a definite no-no to swear and was considered low-class and illiterate by many cultures.  Our forefathers would turn in their graves out of utter shock if they were to listen to one sentence in todays’ day and age.

On the other hand maybe Mark Twain had it right in proclaiming:

“Under certain circumstances profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer…”

Or as famous comedian film maker Mel Brooks, once said:

“I’ve been accused of vulgarity.  I say that’s bullsh#t!”

(The views in this article are meant for entertainment purposes only)

Follow me on twitter: Neil Holtshausen@HoltshausenNeil

Or my blogspot: http://nhfoodforthought.blogspot.com/

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