Now that the World Cup has started (Two ties! You can taste the adrenaline!), there's been a disproportionate amount of talk about swearing. Specifically, the big story that every referee is boning up on 17 languages' worth of pottymouth.
I'm calling horseshit on this one.
Back in the early 90s, while traveling in Italy with my girlfriend Sue, we took a train to Venice. Because that's what you do when you're young, and in love, and as yet unaware that Venice is a costly, fetid tourist trap.
On our trip back, the conductor scowled at our tickets and tried to tell us that 1) we hadn't stamped our tickets at the station, so 2) that will be another $40 each please. Of course, we didn't understand any of this at the time, because he didn't speak any English. So he let loose a purple, flailing tirade of Mediterranean filth at the American ignorants. Sue tried to retort with something she memorized before we left, something about "pig-dogs," but it didn't seem to register. I just sort of let him yell it out, because I knew Sue and I would work off this adrenaline rush with some amazing sex* when we got back to the hotel.
* Revisionist history is a powerful thing.
The point is: Insults are a form of communication. If you don't perceive them, they don't exist. Case in point: Were you offended by this post's title? Google Translate says it means "go groom your mother's mustache!" in Icelandic. So probably not, unless you're sitting in some kaffibarinn in Reykjavik.