Rytis Leonavičius


Everybody is aware of the human tendency to use swear words, yet it has been a taboo subject of scientific research for many years. It is difficult to find any thorough research or description of profanity in literature, but it can be claimed that this “unethical” kind of folklore exists in all nations. By studying the patterns of swearing, a nation’s historical and geopolitical cataclysms could be restored, and the influence of other nations on language, thinking, and culture traced. Even children start to swear at a very young age, as well as people of different intellects and varying professions. A significant cultural influence on swearing forms and content can be observed. We wanted to analyse the profanity peculiarities of young students and their approach towards the use of swear words.Hypothesis of the research: swear words, although being an unethical form of emotional expression, are an integral part of life.Objective of the research – to estimate the sociodemographic patterns of swearing prevalence among students and to determine their correlation with quality of life and a nation’s attitude towards swearing.Goals of the research:1. To estimate sociodemographic characteristics of the prevalence of swearing among students and its correlation with sociodemographic factors;2. To analyse correlations between swearing and quality of life;3. To determine student approaches towards the nation’s swearing peculiarities.The research employed an anonymous survey and original questions to identify qualitative and quantitative characteristics of swearing. The research involved 1.163 students (aged 18 – 36), of which the mean age was 24.3 years (SD – 4.83), 95 percent CI 19.47 – 27.73 years; male and female groups by age were homogenous.The research revealed that respondents who tend to swear frequently are more likely to indicate that profanity is an integral part of life, that Lithuanians in general like swearing, and tend to swear in Russian.Findings of the research:1. The research identified that more than two thirds of students indicated that they swear frequently. It significantly correlated with older, single, working male respondents.2. The research established no relationship between swearing and any improvement in quality of life.3. Respondents who tend to swear frequently are more likely to indicate that Lithuanians in general like swearing; swear words are considered an integral part of life, and Lithuanians tend to swear in Russian.

Keyword(s): investive, damn, swearing, curse, swear, quality of life.
DOI: 10.5200/sm-hs.2014.003
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