I am presently performing a UN org assistance mission to Port Moresby, which is the Capital of Papua New Guinea, a fascinating country that most Americans have probably not heard about since World War Two. A few miles north east of here was where the Japanese advance south through the Pacific was first halted and turned back – mostly by heroic Australian Army reservists – along the infamous Kokoda Trail.
The local language is a colorful mix of native words and colonial era English (and some German), often including the swear words commonly used by foreigners living here (particularly Australians) during the colonial period.
I was rather taken aback when, with a female colleague, I was visiting the chairman of a major company, a very distinguished local gentleman. He politely suggested that we should now “fuck off to lunch”. He was not trying to be crude or funny, just using a common expression. The local news papers contain similar language.
I think that this demonstrates that there is nothing intrinsically bad about swearing. It all depends on context and social norms.
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