Researchers have discovered that today’s children are swearing at a much earlier age than those of previous generations. “By the time kids go to school now, they’re saying all the words that we try to protect them from on television,” says psychology professor Timothy Jay. “We find their swearing really takes off between (ages) three and four.” Jay sees this as a natural outgrowth of the rise in adult swearing, i.e. the kids learn it from listening to Mommy and Daddy. Jay also found an increase in the volume of swearing done by the little ones. But there is a troubling note concerning the variety of their exclamations.
Children do not appear to be yet using worse swear words than in the past — just common swear words more often, according to the new research. Although there are over 70 different common taboo swear words in the English language (some of which also vary from English-speaking country to country), 10 frequently used words account for over 80 percent of common swearing — fuck, shit, hell, damn, goddamn, Jesus Christ, ass, oh my god, bitch and sucks.
This is really disturbing! Whither “motherfucker”? What of “cocksucker”? Does the youth of today have no appreciation for the beauty of a well-timed “cuntrag”? Mark my words, the paucity of expression is going to be this culture’s downfall. Let’s all do try to ensure that our youth can blossom in a vibrant and energetic landscape filled with bright, billowy swears. “Whorepisser,” for example. There’s a whole world of swears out there just waiting to be discovered.
Photo by mdanys, from Flickr.