"You probably hear these words often, and more than ever before. But even though we can't print them, we can certainly ask: Are we living in an Age of Profanity?
Nearly three-quarters of Americans questioned last week -- 74 percent -- said they encounter profanity in public frequently or occasionally, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Two-thirds said they think people swear more than they did 20 years ago. And as for, well, the gold standard of foul words, a healthy 64 percent said they use the F-word -- ranging from several times a day (8 percent) to a few times a year (15 percent).
Just ask Joe Cormack. Like any bartender, Cormack, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, hears a lot of talk. He's not really offended by bad language -- heck, he uses it himself every day. But sometimes, a customer will unleash the F-word so many times, Cormack just has to jump in.
"Do you have any idea how many times you've just said that?" he reports saying from time to time. "I mean, if I take that out of your vocabulary, you've got nothin'!"