Most children learn how to swear before they even know the alphabet, according to a new book that examines bad language and its origins.
English speakers also use a curse word on average once in every 140 words, roughly the same proportion as the first person plural pronouns such as ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our.’
The surprising preponderance of swearing in everyday language probably explains why the majority of children know at least one obscene word by the age of two, says language expert Dr. Mellissa Mohr, from Stanford University in California.
It really ‘kicks off’, she adds, around the ages of three and four.
She claims that over an average day around 0.7 per cent of English language consists of swear words.
In her new book, ‘Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing,’ Dr. Mohr claims the upper classes are just as likely to turn the air blue as less educated working class people.
The group least likely to use swear words, says the researcher, is the middle class.
You can spend a lot of time trying to teach your kid a new word and getting him/her to pronounce it correctly. But if you drop the “F-word” anywhere within earshot of them they will master it instantly. Then they will proudly show off their brand new word to everyone, including your mother, the babysitter, your minister, the mailman, the store clerk and your boss.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!” – Myiq’s daughter at age 18 months