Study Finds Why We Swear So Much

by Rajshri on  March 28, 2010 at 10:30 AM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
 Study Finds Why We Swear So Much
The recurrent use of cussing in people's daily lives has been around for centuries, researchers have claimed.

The revelation comes after the recent f-remark made by Joe Biden at Barack Obama's signing of historic health reform into law when the gaffe-prone vice president said aside to his boss, "This is a big f------ deal," a comment that was meant for the president's ears only.

Language experts passed the controversial slip as another normal example of swearing in everyday speech, Discovery News reported.

Boffins added curse words have been around for hundreds of years as they serve well in expressing strong feelings.

Geoff Nunberg, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information, explained: "'Big f-ing deal' is a perfectly reasonable thing to say when you're talking to a friend about something that was a big f-ing deal. It's emphatic and has an intensity of emotion. To say 'This was certainly a big deal,' or, 'This was an awfully big deal,' does not convey that emotion."

Research by psychologist Timothy Jay, of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, also showed the liberating power that swearing can provide both as an emotional release and relief from pain.

Jay said: "People have a sense of catharsis, they feel better after using this kind of language. Most people look at swearing as a bad thing that you shouldn't do, without asking what the positive aspects of it are."

Lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower, editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary and author of a book called "The F-Word", further placed Biden's profanity of choice having 15th-century Germanic origins.

Sheidlower claimed the word originally meant "to move back and forth" but acquired sexual connotations in the 20th century, becoming more figurative in describing everything from cheating spouses to political documents.

Sheidlower remarked: "I think this is one of the most important words in the language. People use it all the time."

Source: ANI

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