The future of swearing

Swearing - the use of foul, offensive or inappropriate language has certainly become more mainstream over the years.

Swearing - the use of foul, offensive or inappropriate language has certainly become more mainstream over the years.

When I was growing up - swearing was strictly taboo in our family. I remember the shame of accidentally saying 'shit' in front of mother as a ten year old - feeling at the time that it probably would have been more acceptable to have started smoking at that age than to have used such a crude word at the dinner table.

The first time I can honestly remember people swearing in movies was when I saw Die Hard 1 when I was about 15 years old. I spent the next year going around saying stuff like,"Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherf*cker!" whenever I managed to throw a Coke can into a bin at a distance; or successfully kicked a fallen acorn between some imaginary goals while walking to-and-from school.

Swearing was rebellious. It was grown up and edgy - like smoking, driving and drinking 'cane and cream soda'.

These days swearing is pretty much everywhere.

You can't even go into a quiet book store without Mark Manson's book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,  begging and pleading for some attention - along with Gary John Bishop’s New York Times bestseller 'Unf*ck Yourself'; John Kim’s 'I Used to Be a Miserable F*ck'; Norm Laviolette’s 'The Art of Making Sh!t Up'; Andrea Owen’s 'How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t'; "The Hidden Power of F*cking Up" by The Try Guys and Sarah Knight’s whole series of 'No F*cks Given' books.

Why so edgy?

Swearing is even mainstream in the usually super-serious, conservative business of presidential campaigning in the US.

It's as if the crass, non-conformist behaviour of current US President Donald Trump has given everyone else the green light to just go ahead and unleash a whole new world of f-bomb personality.

So if everyone - including nerds writing self-help books and politicians in suits - is swearing; where then does this leave foul language for those of us who really want to satisfyingly call somebody 'an a**hole' in the traffic and mean it?

Is foul language going the same way that Facebook did, which died when everybody's mother started using it to share their baby photographs?

There is no doubt that foul, inappropriate language needs some kind of a saviour, because even watching a Cardi B music video doesn't seem as cool and edgy as it used to.

There is no doubt that anxiety levels within society at large are intensifying  People are fearful of the future because they perceive it it be uncertain and chaotic. Swearing then, by seemingly respectable members of society via mainstream media, will no doubt be increasing in the future.

Inappropriate language is less inappropriate than it used to be. Or at least - some words and use of language that used to be thought of as inappropriate is less so, but other language, names, terms, memes, behaviours and ideologies which was used freely without much examination has now become increasingly offensive.

There seems then to be a growing recalibration of what language we define to be offensive in 2019 - offending people is therefore evolving as our global culture reorders itself and grapples with its own character growth and personality maturation.

You can draw a lot of insights into the nature of a society by the way in which they offend each other - it tells you where their sensitivities lie. Foul language in 2030 will probably look and sound a bit different to what it does today.