Regardless of your opinion of it and to what degree you do it yourself, there's no denying that we've become increasingly desensitised to language that earlier generations would rarely, if ever, use and would consider outrageously offensive.
Use of 'shit' or 'fuck' was something that just didn't happen in decent everyday society, and someone would ask their language to be excused if they slipped up and used the word 'damn'.
Oddly enough, the same people saw little wrong with using racist terms including c**n, n****r, w*g, etc that society now quite rightly deems unacceptable.
These days we barely notice swear words because they've become so common. Wherever you go there's someone having a conversation so littered with expletives that they could say what they need to in half the time if they left them out.
Back in my school days I very rarely swore, but that all changed when I went out into the big wide world and found myself surrounded by hairy-arsed engineers who all held black belts in swearing.
And like any bad habit, it's far easier to get in to than it is to stop.
While I'm certainly no angel when it comes to such things, even I get wound up by much of today's rap music. Back in the 80's when rap, hip-hop etc was still in its infancy, it was reasonably inoffensive.
Today's 'gangsta rap' stuff on the other hand is absolutely vile - full to overflowing with bile and hatred, and with practically every other word being 'fuck' or some derivative of it.
We hear it so much that when we hear someone say 'motherfucker', we barely notice. Who would have thought that we'd reach a stage when a Samuel Jackson rant would not seem over-the-top or even remotely shocking?
This does beg the question of what do you do when you really need that special emphasis that only a top rate swear word will provide, but all the good ones have lost their sting?
It seems to me that there's only one weapon left in the arsenal that still has that sledgehammer power to hit people where it hurts, and that word is 'cunt'.
Commonly referred to by those with more delicate sensibilities as 'see you next Tuesday' or simply 'the 'C' word' (which can be confusing as I find 'Christmas' to be equally offensive), cunt is the one word that most people reserve a special dislike for.
While shit and fuck may be on the top shelf in a blacked out cover, cunt is still a specialist 'under-the-counter' item.
I can't think of another word that provokes such alarm and outrage, which is a good thing. With all the others being so passé, you need something that still has the desired effect.
Tell someone they're a fuckwit and they won't notice. Call them a cunt and suddenly you've made a point, especially if you make the 't' on the end clearly defined - it really does add that extra bit of venom.
Even in films and TV it's rare for you to hear it. I know it appears in 'Snatch', and Jenji Kohan has made prolific use of it in her series 'Weeds' and 'Orange is the new black', but it still comes as a surprise when it crops up.
I remember Jeremy Clarkson writing that his wife liked to drop it into conversation at parties when meeting new people - if they were shocked, they clearly weren't worth talking to and it was time to move on.
Happily there aren't many occasions when it's necessary to resort to this level, but from time to time it's the only one that meets the requirements.
Usually when you've been cut up by yet another cunt in an Audi.....
"Do you know what "nemesis" means?
A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent.
Personified in this case by an 'orrible cunt... me."