These days, it almost feels as if swear words have become the norm. Whether it’s listening to music on the radio, watching TV or checking out a film, offensive language isn’t as shocking as it once was.
Now, Sir Michael Caine, who has appeared in Hollywood blockbusters for decades, has raised questions over whether foul language really has a place in society. Despite playing a range of different roles throughout his career, Caine, 85, told The Sun swearing isn’t something he’s had to do on film. Now, he’s done everything in his power to have the c-word cut from his latest movie, King of Thieves.
While he admitted he grew up hearing vulgar language from his Billingsgate fish porter father, it’s something he prefers to keep out of his own everyday vernacular.
“That was the first time I have used the C-word in a film,” he exclusively told The Sun. “I tried to get them to cut it, but they didn’t.”
Caine’s opinion has raised questions over whether use of expletives has a place in modern society, or whether views like his are outdated. Nowadays, swear words are commonly used by politicians and public figures, while national tourism campaigns, such as the 2006 Where the Bloody Hell Are You? ad by Tourism Australia, was broadcast online, on TVs and in print.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, movie The Wolf of Wall Street contained the f-word 506 times, while the 2017 Triple J Hottest 100 featured it 82 times across 32 songs. Still, swearing remains a punishable offence across all Australian states, despite social media and websites regularly being flooded with all sorts of swear words.
Starts at 60 recently asked the community whether they thought swearing was acceptable or whether it was too crass. Readers had plenty to say.
One person wrote: “The overuse of the ‘f’ word just shows that today’s kids have no vocabulary, other than vile language, to make themselves understood.”
Another said it was sometimes acceptable.
“I don’t normally swear, but under some circumstances I do,” they wrote. “For example, if I kick my little toe on a chair leg. I don’t like to hear women swearing.”
A further comment read: “It’s an inability to express oneself. It is not cool. Very degrading.”
Others said certain swear words were acceptable, but the general consensus was that such language shouldn’t be used in front of women or children.
It’s not just society’s attitude towards swearing that has changed, with an array of manners that were the norm in the past now just a distant memory. It appears that polite behaviour and considerate language have both gone out the window.