What is it about the power of rude words?


Swear words are extraordinary things.

A TV show might show graphic violence, gunfights and knifings, rape and emotional turmoil, murder, mass murder, the deaths of thousands, even millions of people. And the audiences soak it up.

Throw in a couple of f***s and s***s and m*****f***ers and the complaints will pour in. “Don’t use words like that in front of the children,” people exclaim.

It’s as if behaviour doesn’t matter – feel free to lie and cheat and steal and kill, just so long as you don’t use a naughty word, one that mummy said was bad.

Is it because there is a secret hidden power within these words, like spells that can unleash untold damage?

Or do some folk simply lack all sense of proportion?

(That, by the way, was a rhetorical question…)

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