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On swearing

Posted 02-25-2019 at 10:19 AM by KaraZetterberg153


Another perspective is that curse words are, historically, power words, meant to be used by males (and not by women). This is the ancient source of uneasiness people may feel when women curse (which of course they do, on occasion). It's not ladylike, but the deeper reason is the power word thing.

There are a bunch of things like this, predicated on ancient human history from pre-historic times. Another is that, if you talk to a male you will have more success if you are at his side talking, rather than right in front of him (as you might with a female). It is postulated that this is the case because of the millennia males spent in hunting postures, waiting for game. I have observed this phenomenon in teaching men, and socially. Most people are not aware of it.

This is also the meaning, to me, when the Michael Corleoni character in the first "Godfather" movie says to his wife, "There are things that have been going on between men and women. . " As ardent a feminist as I am, I still recognize and honor these things, and honor men, too.

This is also the source of irritation among (some) men when they encounter a women who is bigger, smarter and possibly even stronger than them. Or who curses or is more athletic, or has a larger general knowledge base. The impulse is to knock her down a peg or two. It's pretty tough to take, I am sure.


ADDENDUM: I'm around children a lot, so I don't curse at all, as a rule, except once in a while. And then it usually comes out very English, like "bloody hell," though, to be honest, I really don't know what that means.

But then there's the internet:
Etymonline.com says of bloody: It has been a British intens. swear word since at least 1676. ... But perhaps it ultimately is connected with bloods in the slang sense of "rowdy young aristocrats" (see blood) via expressions such as bloody drunk "as drunk as a blood."
Apparently it's quite offensive in some places, but merely quaint in the US.
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