A swear word used too often, writes Dalrymple,
comes to mean no more than ‘er’ or ‘um’.
If you walk down any crowded shopping street in England,
you will not go more than a few yards without hearing a part of speech of a well-known verb, many times.
do not express a specific meaning; at most, they are used for emphasis. They are meant to convey that the speaker is militantly vulgar and is not going to be deflected from his vulgarity by anyone.
are not used involuntarily, as a tic is involuntary.
When Dalrymple’s patients ask him why he wants them to give up swearing while speaking to him, he hands them the prescription and says:
Take one of these fuckers every four fucking hours until your fucking headache’s gone and if they don’t fucking work, come straight the fuck back.
The more the English swear,
the smaller their verbal repertoire.
And the English
are known throughout Europe as the continent’s coarsest people.