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Table Of Contents Chapter 1- Introduction and Clarification Chapter 2- Everyday Usage of Profanity Chapter 3- How Profanity Offends Chapter 4- A Look at the Literal Meanings and Taboo Chapter 5- Phatic and Emotive Language Chapter 6- The Employment of Substitutes Chapter 7- A Brief Historical Perspective Chapter 8- The Use of Profanity in the Media Chapter 9- Conclusions Bibliography The Function of Profanity in Modern English Chapter 1- Introduction and Clarification Since the beginning of the English language there have existed certain words that were considered by the majority to be taboo or not to be spoken in polite discourse Over the centuries these words have changed some disappearing from the language altogether and some simply taking on new meanings or functions One wonders why if these words were considered too rude to be spoken they were ever used and consequently how they remained a fixture in a language known for its passing trends and short-lived fashions Could it be that these words were and are essential for communication Would the English language be as effective without these words Are efforts to repress them futile Does the popularization of such vocabulary create the need for new words with the same taboo status as the original words To summarize Does profanity serve a useful purpose in the English language In order to answer a question this complex certain guidelines must be set The word profanity has a long list of taboo words associated with it not all of which can be accommodated within such a short study It is therefore necessary to limit which words we consider Since this is a study of modern English the words should be representative of the kind of profanity used today In his superb study Swearing Geoffrey Hughes said A major shift has occurred in comparatively recent times in that a quite different emphasis has become dominant The lower physical faculties of copulation defecation
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