Taboo language and reasons for existence on Earth
Category: False, Posted on: 10/26/2018 9:30:57 PM





LING 1069-090 Summer Part 2


Mubarak Faraj (U0728826)



Taboo language and reasons for existence on Earth culture

Language is considered to be having special types of powers, and is deemed to give cure for sickness, and even keep a person away from evil. With the help of language, a person can attract goodness to oneself, or do harm to other people.  Such belief relating to the power of language is seen to be prevalent in the evolution of humans, since many years. The human society on the Earth defined certain words to be considered as 'immoral ' and 'dangerous' words. Such words are termed as Taboo words ( Battistella, 2005; Eggert, 2011).   The taboo words are given such definition and categorized by the different institutions related to power like the media or religion.  Some taboo words associated with religion are damn, hell, and Jesus. The subjects of Taboo include the mention of the words related to the excretion, sex, private parts of the body or illness and death (Gao, 2013).  Some examples in this case are dick, boobs and ass related to body parts, while words like bastard and “fuck” are related to sexual activity.  Words like shit, crap, and piss are taboo words related to excretion. In certain communities and English speaking countries, taboo subjects include the mention of the age of women, salary or income (Asotska, 2011, Gao, 2013). In some English speaking countries these opinions about taboo subjects are prevalent, though some of the above mentioned topics are talked openly in China. Therefore, the study on the taboo language and words are part of the discussion under the professional aspects. The aim of the present paper is to explore the various forms of taboo language along with its necessity of existence in the Utaboopians culture and the effect of this in the course of their daily communication.

The term "Taboo" is taken from the Tongan language, which is spoken in archipelago of the Pacific region, which means talking about things which are untouchable/ holy (Gao, 2013).  The people from the North America, South America and the English since many years, refuse to talk about/ use the language relating to certain things or actions, and were not ready to use the language related to them.   Wardhaugh (2000 as cited in Gao, 2013) defined taboo to be the avoidance / prohibition of behaviors which are considered as harmful for the people in a society, which would further cause them shame, embarrassment and anxiety.  The Oxford Dictionary (2001 as cited in Gao, 2013) further defines taboo to be a religious custom that restricts or prohibits a specific practice that is related to a thing, place or person. It has been mentioned earlier that taboo is the  act of evading in any society if it is perceived to be detrimental to the members of the society in that it would cause them apprehension, awkwardness or disgrace.

In the opinion of Henslin (1999), norms (mores) are strictly enforced in the culture of a person, and due to this Taboos are very deeply ingrained in the mindsets of people. Henslin (1999) mentions that the violation of the rules of society by using taboo words is seen with disdain in the society. It is important to understand why only certain selected words are considered to be bad, immoral or wrong. These words are used from the topics where people are not comfortable to talk with.  Such topics include words relating to the functions of the body like excretion, and sex, death and illness, private body parts, and words considered to come under blasphemy, are categorized to be taboo words. The socio-cultural values related to the words, also categorize the words to be categorized as taboo words, or acceptable words in a society (Eggert, 2011).

Children are clearly taught that the taboo words should not be used in their daily communication.  Otherwise, the practice of using this taboo language would effect in their future way of talking or making any communication with others. Such conditioning and feedback molds their speech patterns while they become adults. In this context, there is a necessary to identify the reason of selecting certain words as the taboo words. Apart from this, it has a great impact on the mindsets of the people. With these words, there is another set of words related to misfortune, are considered as the taboo words. Often it has been believed that these kinds of words invite bad luck. Henceforth, those words are also in the premises of Taboo words.

Eggert (2011) presents argument that in the 21st century the swearing with sexual words, has slowly come out of the taboo zone. People were further found to discuss the human body, on the television, magazines and movies in the present day. Such relaxation towards use of swearing in language resulted in increase in the research in field related to swearing. Presently numerous researchers and sociologists were into the swearing, and this further resulted in increased research in the reasons for the occurrence of Tourette's syndrome. 

Though swear words are like any other words, the main themes relating to these words and the underlying concepts make them swear words (Eggert, 2011). Another aspect which makes these swear words prevalent is the freedom with which the swear words are used. It is important to understand as to who will choose the swear words. Battistella (2005) opines that swear words are needed in certain aspects like in media, comprising of television and film for reflecting how people speak and create realism in the context of arts.  Despite the point that irrespective of the increasing relaxed attitude of people towards the phenomenon of swearing currently, it is important to note that swearing is not acceptable always in all places, times, and contexts. Battistella ( 2005) opines that the appropriateness of use of swear words in the talk to be considered as good language, depends on many factors like the audience, the relation between any two speakers, the settings, and the content being discussed. Use of swearing is again a personal choice, and usually is based on the speaker's common sense. Though people may freely use swear words with friends, they should be mindful while they use them with teachers, parents and other elderly people.

The frequent and illogical uses of the swearing words made it ubiquitous. It is crucial to identify the words that are exactly used for swearing. As stated by Trinch (2014), the swear words are required in certain aspects such as media and television etc. for reflecting the way of people is speaking. Thus, it is also crucial to understand that who will choose the swearing words. In the era if increasing field of using the wearing words by the people it is noteworthy to mention that swearing is not acceptable in all kind of places in all time.

Lack of taboo language for Utaboopians

Taboo words are prohibited words in the language in the background  of  teaching communication to the children. Native speakers on Earth acquire folk knowledge of taboo words without much involvement but for the Utaboopians, indulgence is needed for learning the taboo. Communal soundtrack of taboo words establishes the common occurrence of swearing on Earth (Kelleher, 2013).

Through the  current research, it has been observed that swearing with sexual words has come out of the taboo section that means it is not further considered as the taboo words as earlier it was done. At present, Utaboopians can further note that on television, magazine or movies on Earth, people are openly discussing taboo words; therefore this use of swearing has increased the scope for the research work in the field of swearing words. The procedures of research in this context could provide the reasons for Tourette’s syndrome if such symptoms are present in the Utaboopians. Offensiveness or appropriateness of words depends on contextual variables in various research studies.

Functions of Taboo language

There are numerous reasons for the humans to make use of taboo words/ language. Asotska(2011) opines that people have desire to vent their anger or feelings, relieve themselves of negative stress, and additionally establish their statuses and identities with the help of speech. Usage of taboo language can help then to attain such purposes in an effective manner, as language is available tool for each person, such as release from strong repressed emotions, display of power, and humor. In various contexts in the society, the impact of humor can be attained by using language or things which are forbidden. In most cases, the expressions and words connected to sex, are generally deemed to be taboo words. In the current day social media and internet, jokes in relation to sex, are more popular with either males or females (Asotska, 2011). In the case of jokes, commonly used words are penis, gay and dick. Majority of jokes in such cases relate to sexual behavior or body processes, and words like "ass" are used.

Another function of the taboo language is release of repressed feelings. When people are very emotional( angry or violent), then people need to express their violence or anger, the utterance of words which are forbidden, might serve to be comparatively harmless way of attacking people instead of attacking the person or their properties (Mitchell & Myles, 2014). The taboo language in such case serves as safety valve for the opposition parties. When people speak forbidden things, negative emotions like depression, dissatisfaction, and anger can be relieved to a greater extent. Such venting of anger verbally is good for a person's psychological and physical health. Some of the common taboo words used in this context of anger/frust4ration are "fuck" , suck" as targeted expressions by men, while women used, words like "shit" , "jerk", and ""bitch". "Fuck" and "shit" the frequently used words with respect to frustration. "damn”, "Jesus", "stinks" are other words used in frustration.

The taboo language is further deemed to be powerful emotionally, and gives a person to break the rules relating to freedom or strength. The taboo words, are further made use of, as swear words, as they are powerful (Crisafulli, 2012). Sometimes, a person who is polite in a verbal attack, is considered to be timid, instead of being perceived as elegant. Taboo language further serves in function as display of masculinity of speaker in fight.

Impact of Taboo language over society

It is cynical that how most of the individuals’ evil can be easily traced in their linguistic list of outlawed words. At the young age, it has been forbidden to use taboo words, as they are offensive, improper and hurtful (Withell & Irvine, 2011).

Eventually, when a word is communicated in an undeserved manner, from all aspects that represents the extreme backwardness of the society. However there is no doubt that words are the messenger of the individual has thought process or thinking that whereabouts from mind to mind. Other people are also need to provide the scope to speak and express their thoughts. As per the requirements, talk back or silence is necessary. If the words are locked in the mind of the human being the mind is also become locked. As a result, there would be a inactiveness in the society. It is the sign of decline of the language that reflects the darkness of the mind (Georgijev, 2014).

It has been learnt from the past that when the freedom of expression has been suppressed then there was the rising of the people for struggle for fundamental rights. Each social group is different from other and the communal portion in the use of language is the basis of sociable communication. As argued by Crisafulli (2012), in this taboo language, certain people do not feel comfortable to talk with. Some of these taboo words belong to that section, about which common folks do not want to talk about publically such as death, illness, sex, or private body part etc. In certain area, words related to socio cultural values are even characterised as the taboo words (Chastain, 2011). 

Testing of hypotheses:

H0: Effectiveness of taboo language on the Utaboopians culture

In certain circumstances the swear words and taboo words are significantly useful for the purpose to evoke a strong negative reactions from people with evil intentions. With the existence of swear words mind could drag up the offensive part that exists.

H1: Inefficiency of taboo language over the Utaboopians culture

Due to the use of more swear words or taboo phrases, people become more habitual with using of the taboo words that often make the effect communication. In that case, often the freedom of speech gets effected (Mitchell & Myles, 2014). The use of the swearing depends on the own choice, in that case, the selection of the words entirely depends on the individual common sense.


From this study it can be concluded that the excessive use of the taboo language is not rather appropriate as it affects invariably, even though the words often express emotional phase. In order to erase the harshness of taboo words people, have created euphemisms that supplant language considerably. It has been observed that without the euphemism communication would be defective.




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