Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our adversion to "profanity"

I was reading a book about language today, and came across a very interesting concept. The book did not discuss this in detail, and I was unable to come across any reliable internet sources to read further, so I will be left on my own to think about this one:

Is our aversion to profanity simply a well-ingrained superstition?

Different cultures deal with profanity differently, and in those cultures different things are considered vulgar or profane.

What I could determine, simply by the definition of "profane" is that it is an old word and definitely religious in origin.

Could it be that we should sit back and think about why we think certain things are profane? What do we think will happen to us? I am talking about more than what we think our friends, co-workers, or family might say behind our back... Is there a bigger fear that we have about saying certain things? Are we like the old believers in Greek mythology, thinking that we will be struck by lightening?

I am interested to hear other thoughts on this issue.

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