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Polluted Language, Polluted Planet - A Reason to Stop Using the 'F' Word?

Language is powerful. ‘In the beginning was the word’. Everything in the universe vibrates. The words we speak vibrate from our vocal chords and pass through every cell of our bodies. Infants in the womb feel the vibration of their mother’s words all around them, pervading their environment and their bodies. Somewhat like being in a surround sound Imax theatre only more so.

The words we think become the words we speak. These words reflect our consciousness which attracts people and experiences that mirror our thoughts. Like attracts like. The bible says “To him who has, more will be given.”

Words have power, not only because of the sound they vibrate but because of the associations they carry. Every time you say or think a word, instantaneously, for a split second, the image of that word imprints on your brain. You may not even be aware of it. For example if I say the word ‘apple’, you just visualised it, didn’t you? That’s because we learn language by associating images and feelings with sounds. In the same way by hearing the same word, whether from someone else or from yourself, bombards the mind with that image. Are we going to choose to fill our minds with positive images or negative images?

Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto found by freezing drops of water and photographing them under a darkfield microscope that when one said ‘Thank you’, ‘I love you’ or “I appreciate you’ or placed the written word on paper attached to the water, the water organised itself into beautiful, symmetrical crystals which looked like vibrant gems. Conversely, when negative thoughts and words like “I hate you,” “ugly,” “demon” were used, it made the water disorganized and unstructured, which looked like a muddy sewer. His research clearly shows that water responds to our thoughts, words and feelings. Since humans are 70% water, it’s obvious that negative thoughts, words and feelings can adversely affect people (see footnote).

So if people around you are constantly using language that is foul, disrespectful, violent, negative, how does that make you feel? If you use foul language yourself, how does it make you feel? For myself when I hear the word my aura contracts and my heart chakra closes. This is not desirable to me.

Spiritual people talk about the beneficial effect of repeating certain words such as mantras on our consciousness. So what about the negative effect of speaking and hearing certain other words on our consciousness? Do people realise what they are creating in their aura?
Perhaps this is why the Buddha taught that Right Speech is part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Power of Swearing:
Cultures with no written language believe that spoken words have the power to curse or bless people as well as affect the world around us. This means some words are very good and some words are very bad. Researchers agree that swearing came from early forms of word magic. So let’s consider that for a moment - sounds have the power to affect our psyche deeply. Given that the right hemisphere of our brain controls our instinctual and emotional sides and the left hemisphere the rational, logical part of the brain, it’s interesting to note that studies show that swear words do not need the left brain to process them. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies show that the more complex parts of our brain (that process language) can struggle with the simpler part of our brain (that process emotions, motor responses) when a person swears.

The F Word:
Let’s take the F word for example. This word means different things to different people. What does it mean to you? To many people, it conjures up images of rough, lustful sex, totally lacking in refinement or sensitivity, somewhat like copulating animals. As such, it violates the sanctity of love-making and is arguably one of the most profane, vulgar words in the English language. Those who use the word often say it means nothing to them at all, just a collection of syllables – or does it? What about subconscious associations?

Why do People use the F Word?:
Studies show that men swear more than women. Men swear to create a masculine identity and to express emotion, since they are taught not to cry. Some people use the F word to add humour, emphasis or shock to the conversation. Or it could be used to camouflage one’s fear or insecurity.

People use the F word for a number of reasons, one of which is to establish rapport and build camaraderie – but that only works if both parties use vulgar language, otherwise, a wedge can be driven between people.

As the world becomes increasingly chaotic, confused and destructive, more people seem to be using this word in daily conversations without even realising it, especially in Australia where it is like a pandemic, followed by its ugly sister, the P Word.

1. Expressing Anger:
It is a word most commonly used to express anger. What has sex got to do with anger? Have you noticed that in general most negative people of this generation use the F word frequently and positive, uplifted people never use it?

The F word is like an umbilical chord connecting people to the womb of anger, violence, rage, fear and despair. On the other hand, positive, uplifting words connect people to the womb of peace, harmony, generosity, gratitude and humility.

Swearing can not only arise from a hostile mind but can create a hostile environment and induce other people to violence. In the U.S. the courts take this into account and regard obscenity as ‘unprotected speech’ that does not come under the constitutional First Amendment of freedom of speech.

2. Being Cool:
It was thought at one point that women swear to imitate men but now studies show that women swear in order to imitate women they admire and to establish trust and intimacy with other women.

In certain social groups, the F word is regarded as ‘trendy’ or ‘cool’ and not necessarily used when the person is angry but for the sake of appearing ‘sexy’. Such people appear to be fascinated with the F word and actually speak the word louder than other words in the same sentence. If your friends are all using the word, it’s very easy in order to be accepted by them to use it too.

People who use vulgar language in a conversation think that non-users are overly conservative, however I know many people who are very radical in their thinking and lifestyle but never use the word and even detest it. It may be an interesting exercise for such people to make this subject a topic of conversation to find out what others think.

3. Obsession with Sex:
I wonder if people who use the F word constantly are actually saying ‘I want sex.’ Why all the obsession with sex? Could it be to escape from the pervasive and undeniable suffering around them, or simply to escape their own suffering? Humans are constantly seeking pleasure and running from pain. The pleasure dulls the pain sensation. Food is a big one and so is sex.

Or could it be that humans suffer so much from Nature Deprivation Disorder (feeling disconnected from the natural world) and themselves, that by using the F word - which is distantly related to a unifying act of deep intimacy - they are trying to reconnect? Sex for many people is the only way they know to feel unified with a world that fosters increasing disconnectedness.

If that is the case, why not sit and meditate in silence, connecting with our higher mind and angelic kingdoms? Or, if that is too difficult, then perhaps go out into nature and focus on another species, imagining ourselves as that creature and feeling union-oneness with it. If we feel another being as if we were that being, separation disappears like an illusion in a timeless, magical moment. Maybe that is the reason why universally people love to watch animals in the wild.

4. Habit:
For other people, using the F word is only a habit - albeit a bad one – fuelled by habituators around them. With a little self-awareness this habit could be broken simply by noticing when this word is used in thought processes and immediately replacing it with a different word. In no time the habit will be broken much to the surprise of non-swearing colleagues, many of whom will be quietly relieved.

5. Rebellion Against Society:
Some people use the F word to rebel against society. Interestingly, swearing was a punishable offence in New England and in today’s world is the #1 reason to be fired from your job. A new survey from reveals that 36% of US bosses have issued a formal warning and 6% have fired an employee for swearing, deeming a foul mouth the most punishable of all workplace faux pas. This poll of over 2,000 executives reveals that 81.2% of senior office executives find a foul mouthed colleague unacceptable to work with.

I met a woman recently who told me that the F word is the only way to accurately and strongly express your anger and that she trained other women to 'come into their power' by using this word. Perhaps what she was really saying was that foul (anti-social) language is a way of saying that you don't care what society thinks of you. The sad thing is that such a person ostracises not only society but also intelligent non-swearing individuals from their circle.

6. Brain Damage:
Who has not seen the sad spectacle of a demented alcoholic staggering down the street shouting angrily at the world using the F word excessively? According to studies, too much swearing could be a symptom of disease or as a result of damage to parts of their brain. Various neurological and emotional conditions can also affect a person’s ability to speak and lead to extreme swearing.

7. Unresolved Negative Emotions:
It’s a mystery to me why highly intelligent people who are earnestly trying to make a positive difference in the world are habituated to using the F word. Such people have an extensive vocabulary to draw upon and could easily find other words to adequately express their anger. Could they be needing to rise above their own negativity, which is after all an emotional condition born of frustration, anger, fear, disappointment, despair and so on before trying to save the planet? Can they not see that using the F word perpetuates negativity in a never-ending vicious circle and lowers the vibrations on our planet, like adding fuel to a fire that is already raging?

The P Word:
Another similar swearword used to express anger is the P word. Every time it is used, an image of a person urinating imprints the brain. How unsavoury is that to contemplate? Why do we even need to think these disgusting, irrelevant things when we can use less unsavoury words like ‘annoy’ bother, irritate and so on?

Affect on Non-Swearers:
Incessantly using the F word in the presence of those who never use it and find it offensive is disrespectful and can make them feel polluted by you. Some individuals go so far as to avoid those who use the F word or even hang up the phone when speaking with them.

Even threatening to use the F word around non-swearers but then not using it, causes the hearer to think the word momentarily in their mind and cringe in expectation. This can produce physiological symptoms of stress such as a tightening in the abdomen, neck, hands, or face in the non-swearer. To use the F word around people who don’t use it, or to threaten to, can be a subtle psychic assault on that person, whether they speak up about it or not.

Every word we use can be a weapon to hurt others or a healing balm to heal and bless them. Let’s choose carefully.

Breaking the Swearing Habit:
Words are pictures that we paint on the canvas of our own and others’ minds. Using a rich array of image-provoking words is mentally satisfying and socially stimulating. For example, in casual situations we could substitute the F word with other words such as darn, pesky, blooming, gosh, heck or gee. To express anger we could use words like furious, livid, irate, wild, outraged, boiling mad, incensed, disgusted, appalled, devastated, disturbed, aggravated, upset, ballistic, explosive, raving, or fuming. Or come up with your own versions!

For example substitute the four letter F word with the three letter F word i.e. FUN. Try saying 'Fun off!' or What a FUN hot day it is today! What the FUN are you doing??? Our FUN government has decided to run another rally.....Get FUNNED! He is a FUN-wit. If you say it with as much anger as possible it actually sounds hilarious.

Do you see what a smorgasbord of linguistically colourful words we have to choose from instead of the same predictable boring old F word? It’s like going into a restaurant and choosing the same old MacDonalds burger with fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Additionally, we can use adjectives to qualify the word, for example steaming, supremely, increasingly, outrageous and so on. And we can invent new slang like ‘Let’s see how the mop flops’ or ‘trot the rot’. For hundreds of years Australians have been famous for humorous and unique colloquial expressions which define our culture and give us originality. What happened? Have we all dried up and resigned ourselves to predictably spitting out the F word every other sentence? It’s fun to think up and use new slang so why not try it?

How do Swearers Respond to being Challenged?
On raising this subject with people who use the F word frequently, responses have ranged from 'You need to get over this and just accept me as I am' to ‘It’s a colourful word and part of the Australian vernacular’ to 'You are right - I feel like a fisherman's wife and hate using the word! Thank you I will replace it with a different word.'

Some people have gone out of their way to use the F word more frequently to deliberately annoy me. Does such a person truly care about how I feel?

I would dearly love for a revolution in consciousness about this word with some open dialogue or debate or at the very least some serious consideration of how this word affects us and others in our vicinity.

Raising Your Own Vibration to Raise the Planet’s Vibration:
Raising our vibration starts with words we use in internal dialogue - the thoughts in our heads. If we choose positive words that encourage self-confidence, kindness, appreciation and gratitude we tend to respond more positively to the outer world. This contributes to peace and helps turn the tide on planetary destruction which originates from hatred and anger. It sounds like a long shot, but remember, sound is vibration and everything originates from vibration.

We Australians seem to have the habit of putting ourselves down, as if it’s some kind of virtue - and it’s not. As a result we are less likely to express appreciation of others. Have you noticed that when you are kind to yourself it’s a lot easier to be kind to others? And we wonder why there is so much discord in the world. If we tell ourselves ‘I am loveable, generous, kind, caring, intelligent, beautiful’ etc. and appreciate ourselves, it will help us be that much closer to extending the same kindness to others. If everyone practised appreciating each other, the world would be a better place.

Imagine if, instead of someone saying ‘F you!’ they said ‘Thank you, I will think about this.’

Doesn’t it make sense to consciously eliminate toxic words that foster harshness and vulgarity and instead use words that foster love and kindness to all creatures? Wouldn’t that help heal a troubled world on the brink of ecocidal madness and create the peace, love and harmony we all deeply crave?

Not everybody speaks about how much they dislike the F word, but such people do exist and they suffer quietly for a long time. Maybe it’s time to speak up and help the world change the tide of negativity and usher in a new age of genuinely positive imprinting of consciousness of ourselves and those around us?


Footnote: While not all scientists agree that Dr Emoto’s work is credible research, bear in mind that the understanding of resonance is in its infancy and scientific trials can be problematic when the results can be so easily influenced by an experimenter’s mind. See Dr Emoto explaining what his critics fail to grasp at

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Firstly, I thank Menkit for yet another thoughtful, informative and helpful article.

Still, I am sceptical of some of the claims made in the article, however, as Menkit tells me that what is said by Masuru Emoto about the effects of human emotion upon water and other matter strongly conforms to her own personal experience, I feel bound to try for myself, with as open a mind as I can, the experiments suggested by Masaru Emoto in his video.

Whatever the outcome of any experiments may be, the observations should be considered valid whether or not they conform to current scientific understanding or whether or not a theory to explain the observations can even be conceived.

Nevertheless, until such experiments can be performed in circumstances that can be controlled and reproduced, it will be difficult to get the mainstream of today's scientists to accept the validity of Masaru Emoto's observations.

Did we miss garbage night?
because this site is overflowing with rubbish from the likes of M P. I used to admire CDB but it's becoming ridiculous.

Dear critic,

I published your comment because I would like you to write in more detail about what you object to and why. More than that I would like you to write about what you like or liked about
Penultimately, I would like you to write for on issues you do consider important and true.
Finally, I would like to say that we publish alternative views to give them an airing but we don't mind rational responses, comment and argument in response to those views, so take heart and don't be unkind to MP who is often right, sometimes wrong, like all of us. :-)

We all have our enthusiasms.

Please try to make your comments constructive because that is the way to help raise the standard of writing and debate.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
home page
Copyright to the author. Please contact sheila [AT] candobetter org or the editor if you wish to make substantial reproduction or republish.

Thank you Menkit. That's all interesting material about the F word. I don't hear it very much, except in public places. Its careless usage tends to give the impression that those in hearing distance are undeserving of better standards. For my part, I feel that F-word users are attempting to dominate the occasion, taking the liberty to define the prevailing social standards downwards.

And yes, that is a very positive replied directive to another post --- to be nice.

Just be nice to each other. Being nice costs nothing, yet it facilitates enormous social harmony.

So, James.
We await the result of your experiment with your emotions and water.
Where have you published?