This was originally published on Liberal America on August 16, 2016.
Fuck yes! Professor Michael Adams’ new book, “In Praise of Profanity,” says that families that use swear words are closer to each other. The “taboo” nature of the words creates more intimacy in a family.
The children are going to hear and use them eventually. Parents can help control which words kids use and when.
Adams pointed out that:
“[Bad words] are unexpectedly useful in fostering human relations because they carry risk . . . We like to get away with things and sometimes we do so with like-minded people.”
When asked if overusing swear words are abusive, Adams said:
“There has to be a limit of society’s comfort with profanity or we lose the expressiveness of the language. There are people using profanity so much that profane words become inexpressive. They almost become repetitive dribble, but I think that people’s ears are very well calibrated to save profanity from overuse.
Adams had this to say about euphemisms:
“If something is taboo, you have to come up with something that you are allowed to say. The euphemism replaces what you aren’t allowed to say. Since we are allowed to use profanity more, euphemism is less socially important than it used to be. Some of those euphemisms can be just as poetic as the profane terms, maybe even more. One example is a Jesus Christ euphemism: Jiminy Cricket. If you are looking for something that is fun to say, just say Jiminy Cricket.”
Profanity can even have some health benefits as well. One of our Liberal America writers, Amanda Oliver wrote:
“You know when you accidentally run into the doorjamb or trip on the sidewalk and let rip some curse words? Science has proven that cursing actually tricks your brain into feeling less pain. The clinical term for this health benefit is “hypoalgesic effect of swearing.” No matter what you call it though, telling the inanimate object that you just ran into to fuck off for being there will help heal the hurt just a bit.”
It can also relieve stress and grow your confidence. Here is a Young Turks video on the subject: