A new report in the Wall Street Journal says that Americans are swearing more than ever now — and experts think they know the culprit.
Not movies, TV shows, or music that are all riddled with foul-mouthed characters.
Not an increase in secularism that ignores faith's traditional taboos.
Not growing political discord and anger that have torn families and friends apart.
Nope. None of those.
The big brains say that the reason we're swearing more now is because of COVID.
As everyone knows, the coronavirus is the source of all ills.
According to the Journal's report — "We're Cursing More. Blame the #%$ Pandemic." — all of the pandemic stresses, combined with things like company Zoom meetings that have largely knocked down walls between personal and professional lives and the ongoing "exhausted slide toward casualness," have created what the Journal called "a perfect storm for swearing."
The paper offered the example of one media company founder who has found it easier to let curse words slip since his guard has been down after nearly two years of the pandemic.
It’s not language he would have used before the pandemic. But he says the two-year slog has pulled his guard down and made him more casual in many of his interactions. Part of it is Zoom, he says: He has spent hours in virtual meetings with co-workers and school board members, staring into people’s kitchens and living rooms while their pets and children walk by. The old boundaries between work and home have blurred, reducing formalities and often forging foxhole bonds during difficult times.
The Journal also reported that, according to Storyful, uses of "f***," "s**t," and "asshole" on Facebook are up 41% from 2019 to the end of November 2021. And their usage was up 27% on Twitter.
And Inversoft Inc.’s CleanSpeak profanity-filtering software, which the Journal noted is used by companies for online forums and community discussions, said that the number of filtered words more than tripled over the last year and a half.
Virus-induced potty mouth?
For a moment, let's grant that the experts are correct, that the pandemic life has led to more foul-mouthery.
What they don't point out is that the disease doesn't cause people to curse. There's nothing in the virus' spike proteins that force the human neural functions to make the mouth form and utter naughty words.
No, society's response to the pandemic led to that.
Based on what these analysts are reporting, if something is causing people to curse more, it's not a virus. It's a bureaucracy that locked people in their homes, kept them out of society, cost them their jobs, forced their kids to miss school, mandated what they wear and put in their bodies, and depressed the economy.
Those Zoom meetings that erased your work-home boundaries? Those were pushed on you because of how our intellectual betters responded to the virus.
If you want to blame something that's connected to COVID for the crassness of American culture, blame the people in charge who ruined so many lives.