posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 04:56 PM
First, profanity is a crutch of the inarticulate. The word that starts with F is used in so many contradictory ways as to have no real meaning of
it's own. Most profanity has absolutely no purpose, other than to communicate the superlative degree, for which actual words are far more
Second, what profanity communicates primarily is a profound lack of self-control. A person swearing is basically processing thoughts out loud and
demonstrating his lack of respect for others, in that he either expects them to be either enraged or terrified by his profanity.
Third, we live in a society that glorifies confrontation. From Soap operas to professional wrestling to political debates, Americans and Britons are
fascinated with confronting people and then verbally getting "up in their grill." Note the fascination with confrontation TV in the US like Jerry
Springer, Cops, and "reality TV" in general. Profanity does not prepare youth to bargain or dialogue with authority; it teaches them to invite the
wrath of others and to "match emotions" with the person doing the swearing.
Fourth, profanity generally has an inverse correlation with socio-economic status. If you have ever been around the rich and powerful, they rarely
swear. I believe one of the reasons for this is that their wielding of social/economic/political/military power is based on their ability to control
I have found that, in a society were profanity is a common-place, I can usually get a person's attention with "word-images" that are startling for
their lack of profanity.
The one exception I have found to these ideas is when dealing with low-lifes, such as professional criminals. When I started in law enforcement, I
worked in the booking room of a local agency. I originally tried to assure prisoners that my job was to secure their civil rights; that we operated a
clean and safe jail, and that I had no personal stake in their guilt or innocence, but that they would be treated fairly until released.
After about 6-months, I reduced my introductory speech to the following:
"You can F--- with the cops, You can F---with the judge for all I care; but you'd bettern not F--- with me, because I fix your food. Do we
UNDERSTAND each other?"
In my experience, the worse the criminal, the quicker they got the point. While there is no sure indicator of innocence or guilt, I did notice that
the innocent usually began weeping after my speech, where as the guilty usually shook my hand at that point and said something along the lines of,
"bro, we gone be tight, dude. You get no probs from me."
In summary, there are few situations where profanity is called for, and those situations are not encountered by people who mind their own business and
stay out of government buildings in so far as is possible.