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"The English language isn't used to its full extent and purpose," she said. "There are plenty of explanatory words that can be used instead of swearing. So why not use those?"


Hmm. Is the f-word explanatory or exclamatory?

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Hmm. This is interesting. I'll try to see how many times I use a curse word in a day.

In a typical conversation I don't swear. Swear words are just fillers, like "um", or "like" and I consciously try to avoid fillers. Using fillers detracts what you are trying to say.

When speaking French, I know that when I'm really angry, I'll say "ah, tabernacle." Or if I want to utter an aggressive "I don't care," I'll say, "J'm'en calice." I'm always in a good mood, am rarely extremely angry or aggressive, so it isn't common that I'll swear, but it happens.

In English, I know that I'll use Jesus F** Christ if I've had an accident or something really terrible has happened. I'll pay attention to see if I use other words. Sometimes, you get into habits without realizing it.

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Klingon invectives can be scathingly caustic, while still preferable to blasphemy.


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I had a completely bilingual friend who neither swore in English when speaking English nor in Spanish when speaking Spanish but would use English curse words when speaking Spanish. He said that they had no meaning to him that way. They didn't feel like profanity because he learned them without meaning (from tourists) before he learned English.

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Back in the Sixties, I had a chum who taught German at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, who did not swear at all -- she was devoutly Eastern Orthodox -- but would exclaim “Scheibenkleister” in situations where I would use profanity. I think it means something like "window putty" but sounds very much like a curse.

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Back in my Navy days I had a shipmate, Thiggy, who was a backwoods North Carolina Mormon. He didn't smoke, he didn't drink coffee, he didn't go out with women and, most of all, he didn't cuss. One day he came back from working on the SPS-40, our ancient, air search radar. He said, "The 40's f***ed!" After we all picked our jaws up off the deck he explained that that was the only way to put it, it was f***ed.

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That sounds rare, as once heard or read that a way to discern one's native language is to provoke swearing, which is by reflex normally in that one.
[Do parsons swear?]

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Aramis, I don't understand your phrase.

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The assertion was that it is a natural reflex to swear in one's original language, suggesting that it may be possible for some spies to be caught by poking them with pins. Reflex, not reflux; like blinking at a bright flash or the physician hammer on the knee scenario.

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