Occasionally, I like to swear. I know it’s a bad habit that I should kick, but you might agree with me that sometimes it feels therapeutic to lay down a few expletives.
Swearing can help you deal with stressful situations and increase your expressiveness too. For example, imagine that it’s a really hot day, you’ve had a bad day at work, and the dog chewed on your new shoes while you were out mowing the lawn in one million degree heat. You could always come back with, “Gosh Fido, I just want you know how I feel right now, and I’m feeling kind of upset.” Or you could, you know, go for a more therapeutic response that makes the neighbours duck for cover.
Swearing therefore seems to have its uses in dealing with complicated situations after they’ve occurred, but I think there’s also a need to pro-actively drop the occasional f-bomb, especially when there’s malfunctioning equipment involved.
Now, I am not a scientist, and have not conducted any research into this, but I’m fairly sure anyway that prehistoric humans invented swearing not only as a coping mechanism, but as a means for primitive tech support. I know for sure you have sworn at a tin opener and then it’s started working again so you know what I’m talking about.
Most people don’t even realise that most of our best repair techniques came from cavemen and that this knowledge has been passed down for hundreds of generations. It’s a little-known fact that the entire IT and electronics industry relies on this. When you take your computer into the technician, he secretly takes it out the back, swears at it for 30 minutes and then charges you a services fee. The dishwasher repair guy comes in with his tools and I assure you he has never used any of them – he doesn’t even know what they do. He bangs around for a bit and when you’re out of the room he says, “Geez, look at all the wires in there you mother-&*%^$” and then the job is done. Any parts that you think were needed were actually just replacements because the guy did some Googling and thought he was using a Phillips-head hammer the correct way.
If there’s anything to be learnt from swearing, it’s that as a society we are improved because of it. Our ability to express ourselves, and accurately describe people that we dislike totally depends on it. In Australia, we even need those words to describe how much we LIKE somebody.
As an aside, sorry IT guys. Gynecologists, I didn’t even mention you yet.