The Blasphemy in Swearing
Updated on January 3, 2006, 9:19 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
How often is it that the streets on which people walk on, the establishments in which people work inside, and the homes where people rest are filled with the words society has deemed offensive? It's more often than some would believe. There are many names to classify this language: curse words, profanity, blasphemous, vulgarity, sacrileges, and (the most popular) swears. The greatest question is how is it these words become so called swears? and how does speaking aloud the forbidden effect the individual, others, and society?
In days of old the first profanities emerged as words against God or using God's name in vain. Some sacrilege examples of this sort are "Oh God" "God damn it", "Go to Hell", "Damn you", "Jesus", and "Christ" or the vain use of "Jesus Christ" in full. Due to a large spread of Catholicism in Europe through the Roman Empire the use of these phrases or words became taboo. America, founded on Puritan beliefs, also follows with these taboos. Recently, the severity of a few of these curse words has decreased. This could be a result of the common acceptance that has taken place throughout civilization, or the decline of strict religious following. Whatever the cause for the decline of blasphemy, in its place has risen racist slurs and sexual terms.
The most offensive swears of today are usually used in a derogatory manner. Words that at one time had a different connotation have found ground in becoming a popular curse word. "Bitch" is a female dog, but used as a swear it becomes an insult to person. An "ass" is a word for the donkey, but can describe a person as a jerk in belittling context.
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