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On Swearing

by Vern Crisler

Copyright, 1997

have made it a policy never to criticize the swear words of another country, inasmuch as what I think of as swear words are completely different from what someone across the Atlantic, or above or below the American border, might think of as swear words. I, for instance, do not understand the British reaction to such words as bloody or bugger. They do not carry the same vulgar connotations in American as I've heard they do in Britain. Similarly, the four-letter word, f---, does not have the same shock value in England as it does in America. That may all be a myth, but there is truth in the notion that various countries have their own reactions to certain words. I've heard this is a real problem with those who are trying to market their products in other countries.

On the whole, I seldom use vulgar language or swear words.

In my view, we ought not to waste vulgarisms or swear words, especially when, by storing them up, we might use them more judiciously later on. If we are spendthrift with them now, we won't have enough left for seasons of scarcity--the political season--when real blasphemy is called for.