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Tristan McLeay wrote:

> It's still the same in my seventeen-year-old presence. (i.e. I'm a
> seventeen year-old and still get angry at my younger siblings (11, 14)
> when they swear. Of course, IMHO, the only swear word is 'fuck', which I
> only use to illustrate the word. Say 'root'[1] or 'shit' or 'bugger' or
> 'bloody' all you like, just don't say 'f*ck'.

Well, 'bugger' is probably not a swear word at all these days, at
least not in Australian English, otherwise a certain famous advert for
cars wouldn't have so used it so liberally on television. Neither is
'root' - that's just slang. Maybe not the kind of slang you use in
polite company, but I don't think any definition would actually class
it as swearing.

I'm twenty-five, and I get annoyed when my peers use 'shit' simply as
a synonym for 'stuff', with no particularly negative connotations at
all (as in the phrase 'and shit' meaning 'et cetera'). That really
grates.

I think one difference between swear words like 'bloody' and 'shit'
versus the ultimate 'fuck' is that the former usually have connotations
simply of annoyance or tragedy (you say shit when a computer crashes)
whereas the latter is more strongly associated with outright insults.

Computer lab is closing. Must go.

Adrian.