You’re mum wishes you wouldn’t swear so much, but she may have to eat her words with a recent study finding that profanity is the perfect way to form a stronger bond with the people around you.
Indiana University professor and author of ‘In Praise of Profanity’ Michael Adams says that ‘bad words’ actually bring us together, and because of their taboo nature, curse words give us a “degree of intimacy.”
According to Adams, swear words “are unexpectedly useful in fostering human relations because they carry risk…We like to get away with things and sometimes we do so with like-minded people.” You have to admit, there’s nothing quite like a good old blasphemous D&M with a close mate.
To Adams, profanity should be admired and not frowned upon, going so far to suggest that parents should teach their kids to use profanity so they can ‘bond’ even closer together. It’s a controversial suggestion but one that can be backed up by the success of children’s books like ‘Go The F*ck To Sleep’ by Adam Mansbach.
‘In Praise of Profanity’ also goes on to say that artists have long used swear words “to occupy that particular place in that particular line of that particular poem because doing so accomplished a specific aesthetic object or effect,” and references The Catcher in the Rye, which Adams says “is deliberately full of crap; remove the swear words, and you’ve got a different book.”
The point is, perhaps swear words aren’t so bad after all, and when used for emphasis or to express yourself, they can be pretty f*cking effective.