Swearing: Is It Okay And When?

I shared a post on Facebook today from Josh Blue Comedy that contained a swear word. It made me think about whether and when swearing is okay. (The fact that in hospital and feeling bored they also may have something to do with my mind wandering in such weird directions ).

Personally, swearing has never offended me. I’m not even one of those people to find some swearing okay, except for one or two particular words. No single swearword offends me.

Interestingly enough, I seldom swear myself. I know it offends some people. While I have no problem with swearing, I have no desire to offend others. When I was younger, I adjusted the language I used depending on the people I was with. These days I just don’t swear a lot. Maybe it is because I am older, or it just may be that I spent so much time teaching schoolchildren that I got out of the habit. I really don’t know – but I don’t miss it.

To me, swear words are just words. I don’t believe they are good or bad in themselves. However, as with any words, I think it is the way you use them that matters.

I would be offended by someone who called a friend a %^&#* idiot, whether %^&#* was substituted with the word stupid, or with a swear word. It’s not the swearing that is offensive but the intent behind the words.

In a similar vein, I would not be offended by someone who hit their thumb with a hammer and then rattled off a string of expletives. Nor would I be offended by someone who swore casually in a conversation with me.

Perhaps my view reflects my sometimes Spock–like reliance on cold logic and reason (see Why I Became A Humanist).

What do others think?

PS if you don’t find swearing offensive, the Facebook post really is funny

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