The very concept of profanity is an interesting study. We pretty much take it for granted, but if you think about it, the whole idea is rather strange: you see, there are these certain words, and it is immoral, taboo, forbidden, or unethical to utter these words aloud. If you do then you are either evil, boorish, or merely poorly bred. Does reading or hearing these terms in some way harm us? Is it even more harmful to subject young people to these...these words?
How this relatively short list of words came into being is something I've long wondered at. Who was it, for instance, that originally decided words naming genitalia, reproduction, or body excreta should be considered profane and why did everyone apparently buy into it? What was/is the underlying logic? Why not decree some other anatomical terms or functions as taboo - why, you're nothing but a shoulder extender! May you be exposed to five sweating humans! I secrete ear wax in your general direction!
Okay, so we may never know the answers to those questions, but given that profanity appears to be a permanent fixture in our culture(s), how much attention or importance do you attach to its' usage? If we wish to fit in with society we must, after all, observe its' conventions.
We've all heard the expression 'swears like a sailor' before. Having been in the service I can say without fear of contradiction that military culture embraces the heavy use of profanity and it typically runs in inverse proportion to the rank. So lowly enlisted folks use f-bombs practically as adjectives (e.g. let's go to the f'ing chow hall it's getting late and I'm f'ing hungry), whereas it is considered unbecoming of an officer to use such language (unless, perhaps, making some attempt to bond with the troops). This seems to be the case with society's class structure on the whole; the lower one's socio-economic class the more acceptable and common is the use of profanity.
How about you, do you find yourself offended by other people's use of profanity? If so, in what situations? Do you swear like a sailor? Has your use of profanity increased, decreased or stayed about the same over the course of your adult life?