I came across this interesting article about swear/curse words and how they change over the ages. It’s something a bit more lighthearted than some of the threads from the past week. That said, it is relevant given that this is a discussion site that has strict rules on language and it’s usage.
By God's Nails! A History of Cursing - WSJ.com
In the Middle Ages, cultural taboos were such that words we consider to be obscene today were perfectly acceptable, if direct. The c-word, for example, was found in medical texts, in literature, in the names of common plants and animals, in the names of streets and even in surnames. Sard and swive were the medieval equivalents of the f-word—direct, non-euphemistic words for copulation. Far from being feared and censored, though, sard appears in a 950 translation from the Lindisfarne Gospels, in which Christ commands "Don't sin, and don't sard another man's wife" (Matthew 5:27).The real medieval obscenities were religious oaths. A phrase such as "by God's nails" was one of the most shocking and indeed most dangerous things a person could say in this era. Oaths by God's body parts, such as "by God's arms" or "by the blood of Christ," were thought to be able to injure Christ's physical body as he sat at the right hand of God in heaven.I can’t see the old ones coming back as in, go sard yourself or you motherswiver. That said I fee there are two issues here, the increased prevalence of swearing in general discourse. I noticed that swearing is much more common than ever on the broadcast media but gets censored on sites like p.ie. The second issue is the influence of political correctness, in that many words we used to use like retard, mongol, dummy etc are now off limits. Years, ago if you called someone a fcking retard, it was the f-bomb that was offensive, nowadays it is the retard part that is offensive.While the shock value of some words is declining today, our repertoire of epithets will probably expand. In America it is becoming increasingly taboo to sum up or "essentialize" people, as epithets do, whether by size (fat), disability (cripple), or mental acuity (retard).
Is the social media behind on this? In the future could we see p.ie and others censoring words like retard and not censoring the f-bombs?