From the first televised f-bomb to a man jailed over his use of profanity, we count ten things you didn’t know about swearing!
10 – First Televised F-Bomb,
- The first f-bomb in American television history was dropped by Charles Rocket on Saturday Night Live in 1981. He was, of course, fired for it, but he set the wheels of change in motion.
- Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Kenneth Tynan dropped the first f-bomb on British television on a BBC programme sixteen years earlier. It ended up becoming the defining moment of Kenneth’s career, overshadowing his life’s work as a respected theatre critic.
9 – Brain Function and Tourette’s,
- Tourette’s Syndrome is often called the ‘cursing disease’ because its sufferers are known to have profanity-filled outbursts that would make a sailor blush.
- In truth, though, less than fifteen percent of people diagnosed with the disease experience these involuntary outbursts, making the name ‘cursing disease’ a bit of a misconception.
- Why do Tourette’s sufferers blurt out swear words? Scientists don’t know for sure, but it’s believed our vocabulary of swear words are stored in a special part of the brain. When Tourette’s sufferers experience a seizure, their brain automatically reaches into that part of the brain for the appropriate words.
8 – Kids Learn to Swear Before Learning the Alphabet,
- Kids grow up so quickly. One minute they’re learning to speak or taking those precious first steps, the next they’re calling you a **** or a $*£% and stealing your wallet.
- This is because, according to research by psychology professor Timothy Jay, there’s been a noticeable rise in children using swear words. And they aren’t just swearing more than they were twenty years ago, they’re also picking it up sooner.
- Today most children know at least one swear word by age two and the desire to test boundaries with profanity escalates around age three to four.
7 – History of the Grawlix,
- A ‘grawlix’ is a cluster of typographical symbols often seen in comic book dialogue bubbles. They’re substitutes for profanity, and are used so that the artist can realistically depict a character’s anger without, y’know, pissing anyone off.
- The term was coined by American cartoonist Mort Walker in 1964.
6 – Swearing is Pain Relief,
- Studies have shown that people can tolerate pain better if they swear. On average, those who swear while in agony can push through pain for almost thirty percent longer than squeaky clean folk who never swear.
- This explains why some athletes swear their way through difficult workouts and why women in labour call their partners every swearword under the sun.