But what, exactly, is swearing?
According to Merriam-Webster, 'swear', as an intransitive verb, means:
: to take an oath
: to use profane or obscene language:
— swear·er noun
— swear by
: to place great confidence in
— swear for
: to give assurance for
— swear off
: to vow to abstain from
What is profane language, however? Is it simply a forbidden word, such as h*ll, or d*mn, or the intonation of the word? You could say sh*t in the nicest way possible, but would it still be swearing? Thus, the euphemism.
The most typical euphemism is "freaking", which is substituted for f*cking. So many people use it, it's almost tiring just to listen to them saying it. This doesn't matter, though. It's simply an example. What I'm really getting to: can anything be substituted for a swear?
Theoretically, I could take the word apple, and declare it a swear word, just by the tone of my voice--
"You're such an apple!"
"That's such a pile of apple, it's disgusting."
--or, would it not be socially acceptable, and cast away, like 'groovy' and--Mean Girls reference--"fetch"? Who decided that f*ck, sh*t, d*mn, h*ll, etc., would be the swear words of today's society? And, the more prominent question, why did we listen, and why didn't we change that?