It seems that whenever you walk down a street, or go into shops or restaurants, or are anywhere in close proximity to other people, you hear people swearing.
Not the odd gentle curse – real obscenities.
No matter that they can obviously be heard by anyone and everyone around.
And its not just when people are angry…….
Many people seem to be unable to complete a sentence without including at least one expletive – often more.
So why is this?
Why is it acceptable to swear loudly in public – often in the presence of families with children.
Do people think it makes them look cool? Is it peer pressure? Is it an act of rebellion? Do people even realise they are doing it?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not averse to the odd outbreak myself. In fact a perfume bottle fell on my foot the other day, and I certainly wouldn’t publish what came out of my mouth.
But that’s partly the point – if you only swear in rare and extreme circumstances, it can be a mechanism of letting off steam. Relieving pressure. Diffusing tension.
It can effectively act as a form of safety valve.
If, however, you do it all the time, this effect is lost.
Who knows – if people swore less often the safety valve effect might actually make them less likely to lash out with violence. They would have an outlet to let off steam that is not currently available to them. Just a thought……
Whether this is the case or not, there are still many of us around who find foul language unpleasant and offensive.
And I, for one, do not want to be bombarded with obscenities when I stroll through the town centre, or sit down for a quiet Americano in my local coffee shop.