Particularly in schools with foreign exchange pupils, the use
of a single suitable language is encouraged.
A teacher will try to get everyone communicating in the same
way to encourage learning. Then someone swears.
The science is definite.
Profanity has a use, and a place in society.
Outbursts of words that would turn many in their graves can
increase one's pain threshold, release stress, and work as an
outlet for aggression.
It is estimated that 0.5% of words used in typical speech are
Not much, but when considering how many words we speak per
day, it adds up.
Consider speaking an average of 15,000 words per day.
That's actually around a 25-page essay, but it's only around
two hours' straight talking.
That amounts to 75 uses of profanity each day - a figure that
would make Captain Haddock proud.
The positive effects are almost definitely related to the
taboo against the words in history, and throughout a large
part of society.
It can be experienced as a pleasant relief from painful
stress when we express instantaneous, outrageous anger.
Usage of this language in this way would perhaps be of
benefit to a stressful classroom environment but, alas, it is
The purpose of school is widely considered to be an attempt
to prepare a pupil for the rest of their life, a part of
which will no doubt be as a member of a workforce.
In order to get a job, particularly one with responsibility,
an applicant must be well received by the potential employer.
To use words that are generally considered taboo would have a
negative effect on this.
The usage of profanity around others of school age can also
encourage them to do so.
People who may not understand the usage of profanity may
swear because they think it is cool and this can create bad
habits and ruin its potential effect, as the positive effects
of profanity wear off with its overuse.
Both profanity's positive applications and its removal from
the classroom are related to the taboo that has been
historically placed upon it.
This has religious origins, and indeed, the word profanity
has its roots in the Latin for ''outside of the temple''.
The attempt to remove profanity from the classroom is almost
a losing battle, as it increases, but in my opinion, it is a
• By Matthew Chilcott, Year 13, Bayfield High School