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We will often use swear words to vent some emotion. Swearing also centers on taboos. Around the world, swear words will tend to cluster around certain topics: lavatorial matters, sex, religion.
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There’s great research coming out that says that jocular abuse, particularly swearing among friends, is a strong signal of the degree of trust that those friends share.
You’re demonstrating that you have a sophisticated theory of mind about the person that you’re talking to and that you understand their mental model.
Attitudinal surveys show that both men and women tend to judge women’s swearing much more harshly.
For example, when women with breast cancer or arthritis swear as a result of their condition, they’re much more likely to lose friends, particularly female friends. Whereas men who swear about conditions like testicular cancer tend to bond more closely with other men using the same vocabulary.
Taking offence is an experience of negative emotions triggered by a word or deed which conflicts with what is expected or believed to be correct, suitable, moral and acceptable behaviour.
These expectations, values and beliefs are all based on our past experiences.
Believing in our values forms our identity and provides us with a sense of entitlement to feel offended because we feel these 'sacred' values should be respected.
This is amplified by being exposed to a lot of different points of view on social media.