Why is swearing perceived as taboo in society? Everyone does it, whether the choice of words are from the seven dirty ones, or more akin to “heck.” They are the most useful words in certain situations, like when you smash your thumb in a car door, find out the insurance guy is stopping by to update your policy, or as a last stand of defiance just before the meteor strikes. But these useful words are shunned even when they are of most value. It is sort of like denying a carpenter to use his favorite hammer because the sound of it might offend someone who is more particular to screwdrivers.

How can swearing be offensive when people who are the backbone of our society – police, firemen, mechanics, truck drivers, cab drivers, SUV drivers – routinely do it? How can certain conservatives blame the “elitist liberal media” for demoralizing TV with linguistic filth, when most liberals I know rarely swear? It is the non-elites I know that swear like truckers with Tourette's, regardless of the audience or social situation. Elites and the highly educated draw from a rich vocabulary; it is the most uneducated I know that swear while preaching family values.

Some people resort to using non-offending curses such as “heck” and “darn.” But how are substitutes such as “friggin',” “bleepin',” or “gol-danged” any different than dropping the f-, s-, or g-d-bombs? They are direct substitutes, the difference between calling someone “stupid” or “idiot.” Some claim the f-word and s-word are “bad” because they relate to unmentionable bodily functions. But these are functions everyone does. No sex and the human race becomes extinct. No potty breaks and the body explodes. Being an idiot should be less socially acceptable than peeing and procreating.

It is true some uses of swearing do not make sense. Such as guys swearing to sound tough when they are talking about non-swearing topics: “That was the cutest f'ing puppy. F'ing adorable! Cute as a f'ing cherub!” Or in movies to heighten dramatic tension when there really is none: “Leo, I love you.” “F' yeah! I f'ing love you too!” I don't want to hear an actor swear unless he smashes his thumb in a car door or stands defiantly before the meteor strikes.

There are those who purposely avoid movies with gratuitous swearing, even when it is funny. As if a lack of certain four-letter words is the baseline for a classic flick. This confuses me because, ironically, most movies that rank in critics' lists of all-time flops are family movies. Some well-timed gratuitous swearing might have saved the movie Baby Geniuses, and a few f-bombs could've at least made the flick Mac and Me entertaining. Particularly if the little alien guy said, “F' you Ronald. Your happy meal is f'ing crap.”

Another confusing thing is the taboo with using slang to refer a woman's mamma when TV, movies, and advertisements visually exaggerate them through Photoshopping or with barely concealing wisps of fabric. Look through any grocery store checkout stand magazine rack and it is obvious boobs exist. Why can't we use slang to identify them? How can simple words make them appear dirtier than a Roger Corman movie or the photos in an Abercrombie catalog?

I have to stop thinking about it now; the more I dwell on it, the less it makes sense. I challenged myself to write a piece about swearing without using any offending words. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure I was successful. It's all too f'ing weird.