It appears that my swearing is not something that I need to be ashamed of really – I am in good company apparently!
If you offend easily and don’t enjoy a bit of profanity, then maybe check back tomorrow night…
Personally, I find swearing rather cathartic – sometimes there are no words other than a profanity which suitably describe a situation or a person to perfection! It releases emotions…and given that I was an emotional eater and I am now trying not to be an emotional eater, anything that releases these feelings without detriment to my health is a good thing as far as I am concerned.
Please don’t get me wrong – I do not swear all of the time…or even most of the time. My blog posts get sweary quite often as the blog is another form of emotional release…something that I am passionate about…and swearing seems to come to the forefront during these moments. I rarely swore at work, or in polite company, because I was bought up and not dragged up; I didn’t grow up thinking that ‘etiquette’ was a new designer boutique on the high street.
I understand that not everyone likes swearing. I even know some people who claim never to swear…but I don’t trust those feckers!
Research shows that we swear on average from 0.3% to 0.7% of the time — a tiny but significant percentage of our overall speech (frequently-used personal pronouns occur at approximately 1.0% rate in speech). Swearing is more common than you might think. Personality research suggests that people who swear more, not surprisingly, score higher on traits such as extraversion, dominance, hostility and Type A personalities. Swearing is not just for the uneducated or people of a lower socioeconomic class — it knows no social boundaries in its expression.
This was the bit that interested me. I was always told that people who didn’t have a wide vocabulary use swear words…as they ‘didn’t know any better’…I am quite happy to say bollocks to this now. I am older and wiser and have a PgDip, a Masters, and am working my way towards my second Masters. I am also well-read and, according to Mr WLB ‘use too many big words that he doesn’t understand’…so the uneducated stuff is shite!
Stephen Fry agrees too – he made a documentary series about language…and dedicated a whole episode to the joy of swearing – although that link is just for short YouTube clip which makes his point nicely. One of my favourite quotes from him is, “The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest is just a fucking lunatic.” I adore Stephen Fry!
And for any that do take offence, he has this to say…
I thought that he had a bloody good point. I have never intended to offend anyone, but it seems that I do…maybe they are in need of lightening up…or a good emotional release – I could give them a crib-sheet for reference purposes!
I also read with interest an article regarding the seven best reasons for swearing. Now I am aware that some smartarse will probably counter that with arguments against swearing…but I won’t take offence at that narrow-minded view…I will just hold on to my own narrow-minded view and continue to swear!
#1 – Pain relief
Swearing activates the so-called ‘fight or flight’ response, leading to a surge of adrenaline and a corresponding analgesic effect. Richard Stephens of Keele University found that people who swear are able to hold their hands in ice-water for twice as long. However, this only holds for people who swear a few times a day, not for so-called ‘chain-swearers’. Presumably chain-swearers are densensitized to their swearing, and so not particularly aroused by it. It remains unclear whether some swear words are more effective than others. But it seems very likely.
#2 – Power and control
Swearing can give us a greater sense of power and control over a bad situation. By swearing we show, if only to ourselves, that we are not passive victims but empowered to react and fight back. This can boost our confidence and self-esteem, and also provide the impetus for further corrective action to be taken. As Mark Twain put it, ‘When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.’
#3 – Non-violent retribution
Swearing enables us to get back at bad people or situations without having to resort to violence. Instead of punching someone in the face or worse, we channel and disarm our anger by swearing instead. True, swearing can also have hurtful consequences, but better a few sharp words than a sharp dagger. Swearing can also serve as a warning signal or as a marker of rank and authority, a bit like an animal’s growl: “Watch out. Stop it. Or you’re damn well going to pay the price.”
#4 – Humour
Swearing among friends can be quite hilarious. In such circumstances, it represents a release from normal social constraints or, like play-fighting, makes light of a potentially threatening person or situation.
#5 – Peer and social bonding
Swearing can serve to show that we belong in a certain group, or that we are able to be ourselves and so wholly comfortable with the members of that group. If done correctly, it can also signal that we are open, honest, self-deprecating, easygoing, and barrel loads of fun.
#6 – Self-expression
Swearing can be a way of showing that we really mean something or that it is really important to us. That’s why swearing is so much a part of any sport. It also broadens our register and makes us more lively and interesting, being used, for example, to add emphasis or ‘punch’ to our speech.
#7 – Psychological and physical health
The health benefits of swearing include increased circulation, elevated endorphins, and an overall sense of calm, control, and well-being. The key is to do it sparingly and not to get angry at the same time.
So there we go then. I feel justified in dropping the odd ‘f-bomb’ now again…oh okay then, saying ‘fuck’ – actually, I try and use the milder ‘feck’ on the blog as you will have seen on numerous occasion! I even feel okay dropping the odd ‘c-bomb’ – I do this not so often…but I don’t have an issue with the word…I personally find words such as ‘gash’ and ‘minge’ more offensive.
I wrote a blog post about swearing a while ago…but as I enjoy it, I decided to dedicate tonight’s post to a fecking awesomely cathartic method of stress release!
My day has been good. I woke up and had an amazing conversation with a friend of mine – she had me going through a range of emotions, but she is so incredibly polite that I managed not to swear! I then headed to the gym for my PT session…and I definitely swore during this – I too find that a swear word can make me withstand pain! Apparently I am a posh swearer though…and not a chavvy swearer! Then it was off to see the horses, to the shops, to grab lunch, to drop Mr WLB home whilst I headed to my Mums new house. I ended up shifting a few boxes but then getting bombarded with my niece and nephew, a six week old, and then a nine month old – for a girl who doesn’t want children of her own, I coped quite well! I didn’t leave until late and so rustled up a quick dinner and am hoping to relax a little later on.
Breakfast: Banana porridge (5 syns).
A good food day – not as much superfree as I would like though! Brekkie was split…the porridge eaten at home, and the banana eaten before my PT session started. Lunch was grabbed after the gym and before heading out again – no superfree food here! Dinner was full of veggies – onions, mushrooms, peppers, and spinach – with Thai paste, rice and a coconut yogurt…it made enough for a couple of meals. My snacks were eaten later tonight – Eat Natural do some smaller bars and so I tried those for a change…delicious as always and only 8 syns…and I was going to make toasties but fancied some salad in my cheese rolls.
Exercise: 5 minute elliptical warm-up and a 60 minute PT session.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx
Reference: Jay, T. (2009). The utility and ubiquity of taboo words. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(2), 153-161.