What the #$%&^?!! 0
If this XXXX story seems a bit XXXX, it’s only because much of it’s been redacted to weed out XXXX curse phrases.
It’s one safeguard to make sure no XXXX ends up ruining your day, though most Canadians seem pretty comfortable with XXXX cussing.
But what about our children? Are we letting those little XXXX down?
Timothy Jay, a psychology professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the leading expert on English language cussing, has catalogued children as young as two years old swearing.
But there’s not enough historical potty-mouth data to actually show whether kids are developing that skill-set earlier than before.
When you were young, you likely swore at the kid who took your XXXX toy truck or Barbie in the playground, your mom overheard, and that field study was pretty much completed by a swat to your rear.
But there’s now science behind the mechanics of obscenity.
Dr. Richard Stephens, a senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University in the U.K., announced last month that foul language can help alleviate pain, especially if you don’t normally swear.
The study involved students and the impact of putting hands in buckets of XXXX ice-cold water.
They were able to stand frigid temperatures longer, thanks to repeating words that would normally get you kicked out of class.
The dirty mantra quickened the heart rate, possibly setting off the flight or flight response in our species and proving the words don’t just have an emotional response.
Stephens believes the use of bad language is evolving with us.
“As a teenager, I read an old copy of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair that I found in a cupboard,” he recalls of the novel. “Anytime a character said the word ‘damn’, it was written as ‘d___’.
“One hundred years ago, the word damn was so taboo as to be unprintable. How times have changed.”
He says there will always be shocking phrases, but time will change their use in a population.
Take my XXXX city, Brampton, Ont. A century ago, it was known as North America’s largest cut flower producer.
Starting here, how many roses went out with blushes of love?
How many orchids said a respectful goodbye at funerals?
Today, Brampton’s known as Canada’s capital city of swearing — at least when it comes to putting the XXXX in social media. A recent survey found my fellow residents tweet vulgar rants more than in any other place in the nation.
But don’t think you’re so XXXX perfect, if you happen to live elsewhere in Canada. A 2010 Angus Reid poll found Canadians swear more than Americans or even the XXXX British.
It’s pretty much our third official language.
But lately, I’ve been worrying about our XXXX youth.
That a well-placed blue diatribe, yelled out after a hammer strikes a dad’s thumb during a Sunday morning do-it-yourself project, will fail to shock his kids.
That today, with so many eyes watching parents, mothers no longer even threaten to wash their children’s mouth out with a washcloth lathered in XXXX Ivory soap.
That our sons and daughters are forgetting the basics comic George Carlin preached about in 1972.
Instead, their texts are a code of cuss and poor spelling.
Online, a ‘b1ll he4d’ is a horrible thing to call someone.
But don’t worry if you’re 14 years old and don’t know that. Today’s profane pontifications have the lifespan of a Canadian sitcom on American TV.
‘WTF?’ lost much of its street cred among young people once their parents started using it.
But there is some hope this generation may not be totally XXXX when it comes to the type of swearing that went into building this great country — from the fishermen who used the f-word as a period after each sentence to the western ranchers whose boots were even called XXXX kickers.
Modern slang and variations on cussing may be no different than the languages used by soldiers, or even prostitutes, a century ago.
It exhausts itself, becomes obsolete, and then it’s back to the tried and true and blue.
Expert Jay — author of Cursing in America and Why We Curse — says his data, collected since the 1970s, show the top 10 swear words are safe, if unsound.
“Slang is not dislodging words like XXXX and XXXX,” he points out.
“I mean, to know their power, you’re not able to print those words in this article.”
Jay uses an analogy that past flower growers in my city would have appreciated.
“We have a lush garden of swear words,” he points out.
“There’s no evidence to suggest they’re being pushed out by new ones.”
And for that, my fellow Canadians, we should all be XXXX thankful.