22 Oct 2010
It’s not cool to swear though, right? Or is it? Once frowned upon as showing lack of intelligence it now seems perfectly acceptable to cuss.
Stephen Fry, the cunning linguist says of swearing “the sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or of a lack of verbal interest is a f***ing lunatic.”
In an article in Stylist magazine last week they wrote that swearing had been scientifically proven to “ease pain, increase productivity and bond us at work”. F***ing hell. That’s impressive.
I remember the Sex Pistols back in the 70s (look it up kids) going on an expletive rampage when interviewed on TV. There was shock and outrage and parents ran to cover their children’s ears.
And yet turn on your TV these days and you’ll hear the likes of Gordon Ramsay turning the air blue whilst making an awfully nice lobster salad. Gordy’s show is even called The F Word.
So yelling a cuss word because you’ve got a parking ticket, broken your leg, or because you’re under stress at work all seem acceptable.
But how about writing swearwords? Is it OK to write f*ck, sh*t or b*llocks in your article, blog or tweet?
We try and get around it, of course, by substituting an asterisk for one or some of the letters as if this will protect the innocent or at least blame the reader for having a dirty mind. “Oh you saw sh*t and read it as shit did you? That’s your fault then. What I meant was shut.”
And then we end up with the sort of nonsense you get in the Sunday papers where you’re left wondering what the swearwords actually are. “Racquel, the 22 year old escort accused the premiership footballer of having a small p**** being s***** and a b***** a******. “
The Guardian regularly uses sh*t (sans asterisk) and even had f*ck on the front page recently. (Just for the record they’re using b*stard less whilst w*anker has remained stable.)
Cursebird monitors swearing on Twitter in a real time feed. And there’s loads of it. At the time of writing f*ck and sh*t are leading the way closely followed by b*tch and p*ss. Nice.
The talented @naomidunford over at Ittybiz doesn’t give a sh*t about swearwords and is famous for effing and blinding her way through her blog posts. It hasn’t bothered her readers and she’s got a huge following.
But I’m not so sure it’s for everybody. I once wrote that you shouldn’t say anything on Twitter that you wouldn’t say to your mum. And I think that includes swearwords. Yeah, the asterisk thing is a bit of a cop out I know. But it does acknowledge that you’ve given some thought to other people’s feelings.
What do you think? Should we refrain from cussing online? Or is it all a load of Anglo Saxon b*llocks?
Let us know in the comments.