I swear a lot. I try to keep a lid on it in public, but in private–and in my head–there’s a lot of profanity. Sometimes I think that, as someone who deals with words all day, I should have a better substitute for all these curse words, something more creative and less swear-y. But it seems that’s not the case:
This “How Stuff Works” article about swearing brings in the science behind swearing, saying that “many researchers believe that it helps relieve stress and blow off steam, like crying does for small children.” The coolest thing, though, is what happens to our brains when we swear:
Language processing is a “higher” brain function and takes place in the cerebral cortex [while] emotion and instinct are “lower” brain functions and take place deep inside the brain…Many studies suggest that the brain processes swearing in the lower regions, along with emotion and instinct..
So they’re words that aren’t even processed as language, but instead tied to our basic brain functions? No wonder there aren’t any satisfying substitutes. I love it when science backs me up.