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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Almost Before We Spoke, We Swore

...the Senate seeks to return to the public square the gentler tenor of yesteryear, when seldom were heard any scurrilous words, and famous guys were not foul mouthed all day.

Yet researchers who study the evolution of language and the psychology of swearing say that they have no idea what mystic model of linguistic gentility the critics might have in mind. Cursing, they say, is a human universal. Every language, dialect or patois ever studied, living or dead, spoken by millions or by a small tribe, turns out to have its share of forbidden speech, some variant on comedian George Carlin's famous list of the seven dirty words that are not supposed to be uttered on radio or television.


via NYTimes

virtually all of the great works of literature - whether Chaucer, Shakespear, Jonson; even the Good Book - abound with the profanity and vulgarity of their day. one day the emot's, l33t and chat acronyms of our day - OMFG, WTF?, ROTFGL - will become quaint or passée when our kids are swearing in some new way...

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