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Like it or hate it, our use of ‘bad’ language in everyday life is only getting stronger


I would be a hypocrite if I expressed dismay that an official report has found people nowadays are much more inclined to swear. Nearly half of young people use “strong language” every day, and nearly half of parents use swear words more liberally than they did five years ago. Swearing, in general, has risen by 30pc since 2017. Blimey O’Reilly!

would be a hypocrite to disapprove, since I am well able to swear myself, sprinkling various expletives around vehemently when (a) cooking and (b) driving. In mitigation, most of the time I’m swearing at myself, rather than at others, but the practice is still what older generations might have called “potty-mouthed”.

The study was carried out by the British Board of Film Classification, while researching what is acceptable in the public realm right now. And I’d swear to God, their findings wouldn’t be much different in Ireland – the Irish may be even more liberal with the profanities. What was once known as “bad language” is now pretty universal – there’s been a measurable social change.

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