Why Do We Use Four Letter Words?

Ever wonder why you swear or use four letter words?  Some people say it simply demonstrates our poor command of the language.  Others say it is simply laziness.

I am not sure.  I met a famous psychologist many years ago who was well known for using many four letter words in his theraphy.  After I met him I realized he was extremely well spoken and was certainly not lost for words.  I concluded his use of four letter words was intentional.  I asked him why.  He told me that it is the way we talk to ourselves so he used it to show he understood the person and to break down defences, or de fences.  So I wonder why we talk to ourselves that way.

I grew up in a small town in Newfoundland and the language on the street was pretty raw.  However at home we spoke in a more refined way with no four letter words.  I clearly learned two languages and could switch back and forth easliy.  I suspect that the street language was more free and authentic so the self talk came out on the street.   

I am not sure of this theory but I certainly know when I hit a bad golf shot my self talk is very raw.  By the way, I am now responding calmly and with understanding but being encouraging at the same time.  I am acknowledging my efforts to improve.    

  1. graham Reply

    we learn four letter words from 10 year olds when we are six or seven. we don’t use them with our parents or their friends.
    but I think, like blaspheming , four letter are becoming like you know ummmm like filler between the gaps in our speech

Leave a Reply

captcha *