Swearing helps. It helps a lot. When witty comebacks fail you, the middle finger is your best friend. So why is there all this fuss over 4 letter words?

Centuries-old taboos build up. We’ve all heard it’s not big and it’s not clever, yet swearing is language used by almost all adults. Like chocolate when you’re on a diet, swearing is the forbidden fruit of the vocabulary.

You can probably remember your first forray into the world of swearing. Despite all the talk of its immaturity, swearing is a rite of passage and in secondary school can have a major impact on where you stand in the pecking order. You’ll probably remember the humiliation of whoever said “sh*t off” in a desperate attempt to join the rest. Or using every dictionary your hands came upon to look for the rudest word possible. Maybe this is where immaturity comes in: children can be so cruel.

Swearing is a major part of expressing deep feeling, and sometimes just fills the gaps in song lyrics with passion. The ‘swearing in music’ controversy, kicked up by Hilary Clinton and others in America, led to the infamous Parental Advisory stickers. Many fans of heavier music could lose count of them while going through their CD collection. They’re like a badge of honour for freedom of expression, now shown on not just CD fronts but worn proudly on T-Shirts, posters and and all the .alt merch you can imagine. Who knows what would happen if swearing was banned from music?

What would happen if swearing was banned from speech? Extreme violence, probably. The likes of ‘f*ck’, ‘sh*t’ and ‘cunt’ are the real magic words in today’s stressful world. So why not clap your hands and believe? Just try not to shock the vicar.

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