Swearing is used to signify a number of emotions, (e.g. anger, frustration, joy, surprise). It can be used to achieve a specific reaction from others. It can also be a useful substitute for physical violence.
Swear words can also be used in a more positive manner, in the form of jokes and humor, sex talk, storytelling, self-deprecation or even social commentary.
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Swearing is not just for the uneducated or people of a lower socio-economic class - it knows no social boundaries in its expression.
Personality research suggests that people who swear more, score higher on traits such as extraversion, dominance, hostility and Type A personalities.
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.
New research reveals that profanity has many positive virtues, from promoting trust and teamwork in the office to increasing our tolerance to pain.
A study done at Keele University in the U.K. measured the effects swearing had on pain tolerance. They found that we can withstand more pain when using profanity.
Swearing triggers the fight or flight response, which then gives us that burst of energy to make it through the difficult or painful task.
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