What is Swearing?

Swearing is part of our everyday lives whether we like it or not.

The best definition I have found for what swearing is:

“A profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger”TheFreeDictionary.com
Is swearing good for us?
“Bad language could be good for you, a new study shows. For the first time, psychologists have found that swearing may serve an important function in relieving pain.
The study, published today in the journal NeuroReport, measured how long college students could keep their hands immersed in cold water. During the chilly exercise, they could repeat an expletive of their choice or chant a neutral word. When swearing, the 67 student volunteers reported less pain and on average endured about 40 seconds longer.” – ScientificAmerican.com
Why do we swear?

“Why do people swear? Why does using a swear word make us feel better? How do we choose which word we use?Luckily for you, the Association of Psychological Science’s Perspectives on Psychological Science just published an article that answers these important scientific questions in an article by Timothy Jay (2009). If swear words hurt your eyes, you may want to stop reading now.

Jay notes that swear words (or taboo words, as he calls them) can include sexual references (fuck), those that are profane or blasphemous (goddamn), scatological or disgusting objects (shit), animal names (pig, ass), ethnic/racial/gender slurs (fag), ancestral allusions (bastard), substandard vulgar terms and offensive slang. Taboo words can be mildly offensive to extremely offensive, and people will often use a more mild euphemism to replace a swear word when in mixed (or unknown) company.” – PsychCentral.com

More to come…