• James Eves

Mind your language: Unfucking work through words

Updated: Oct 20

For as long as humans have existed, we have had a need to express our strongest feelings, including shock, passion and anger.


Swearing is one way that people choose to communicate extreme emotions, with almost all languages having their own coarse vocabulary.


While some may flinch at the use of ‘bad’ language, for a Work Pirate, swearing plays a crucial part in showing our dissatisfaction with the status quo. Outrageous situations call for outrageous words - for us, this is the only way to seriously dismantle a broken capitalist system and unfuck work for the benefit of everyone.


The history of fuck


Many have debated the origins of this fiery four-letter word, and accounts of its early usage are not 100% clear.


The general consensus among academics appears to be that the word has Germanic origins and dates back to the 16th century, originally meaning 'to strike or hit’.


Although the definition has evolved over time, the explosive nature of the word is why us Pirates love to embrace it.


It is a surprisingly versatile word; being used as a noun, verb and adjective interchangeably and for a wide range of moods and conversations.



The Oxford English Dictionary identifies more than a hundred different uses of the word 'fuck'.


The pros of profanity


You might not realise it, but swearing can be surprisingly beneficial for our general wellbeing, as well as uniting people.


Swearing has been scientifically proven to ease physical pain as well as reduce psychological stress.


It can also improve communications in some cases, with studies finding that swearing improves persuasion, and even creates a sense of solidarity in workplaces - what better language, then, for a Work Pirate to use!


National treasure Stephen Fry famously defended swearing as “a very important part of one’s life”. Even King Charles received public support after swearing in frustration at a leaky pen - showing that people do in fact relate to the humanity that such language can convey.


Swearing as the great equaliser?


Some people believe that swearing shows a lack of vocabulary, education or imagination. This has been disproved in some studies, with swearing actually linked to higher levels of intelligence.


While swearing for the sake of it might seem unnecessary, to discount it altogether at best ignores science and undermines the emotional responses of many, and at worst implies that only ‘educated’ people have the right to expression - an undeniably classist and elitist view.


As our beloved Mr Fry once said: “The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest is just a fucking lunatic.” As a passionate advocate of everyone using their voice to make things better, I’d have to agree.

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