The taboo against swearing is, it seems, a pretty serious matter in some situations. Colorful language derives its power from taboo-breaking. The fact that swearing is referred to as taboo focuses it, however does not explain why swearing itself is taboo. The taboo comes from the fact that colorful words can be used to provoke these emotions in people who do not want to feel them.
The Economist published an article called, “The Last Taboos” written by R.L.G., and he starts his article off by saying, “Plenty of people think the English language is going to hell in a handcart” (R.L.G.). Christian swear words once packed a solid punch, but now they belong to the mild tier. ”Damn” is now okay for prime-time television, and though God damn is still too strong for Americans, “good God, Lemon!” was a ubiquitous catchphrase in the beloved American comedy “30 Rock” (R.L.G.). The use of colorful words can survive underlying social change. It is not a surprise that advertisers are always trying to test the limits, while trying to get away with implementing the cursing vocabulary’s special power. It’s not always correct to link colorful language exclusively with anger, but it does have a key role in expressing and communicating emotion. In the article Naughty Words by Rebecca Roache, she writes, “As the linguist Geoffrey Nunberg has remarked, ‘[s]wear words don’t describe your feelings; they manifest them’”. It is this statement that she shares that it is a unique way in expressing emotion that separates taboo words from other uses of language, as well as other types of colorful language.
However, our culture is continuing to change, and with colorful language becoming a norm it comes back to the question, “How many times have you sworn today, and/or was it offensive? Or used as slang?” I know as a 22-year-old I tend to swear a lot more with my peers. In other situations, with different audiences, I try to take caution with my vocabulary, but with commercials, music and media in general we are surrounded by a vast variety of colorful words. What used to be a profane, unspoken language is now casual. Swearing is so common now that you can flip on the TV, and hear bleeped out words or even now the approved colorful vocabulary without even thinking twice that it is or what use to be a “bad” word. Colorful words with negative emotions isn’t how they are projected anymore; they have become humorous slang we use. It has truly become a part of today's casual language. You can find swearing more commonly on TV, advertising, and in music too. Society has changed and we have all embraced this new atmosphere of accepting different and new out of the box views. Gone are ancient word choice traditions, replaced by a new and ever-evolving graphic treatment solely influenced by ourselves.