“Vulgarity is the conduct of other people, just as falsehoods are the truths of other people” - Oscar Wilde To start off I'd like to say that this is not at all a protest of PF guidelines nor do I intend for it to be an excuse for people to use 'vulgar' language. I would just like to discuss what we think of 'vulgarity' and why the concept exists in it's current state. I will be mainly discussing 'vulger' language but any one may introduce also such things as the 'vulgarity' of images and actions. In older times it seems that vulgarity was a function of class distinction and religious propriety. The religious aspect is rather obvious and straight forward but as far as class distinction I think there existed some hypocrasy. While a highly religious individual saw discussions of 'unclean' things to be unacceptable many higher class individuals did speak of such things at least to some degree. The only difference between lower class and higher class discussions of things such as sex was the vulgate. In fact a dictionary definition of the word 'vulgar' brings up entries specifically stating that 'vulgar' is the language of 'common people'. I imagine then that refined people supposedly used 'proper' terms while the 'vulgar' masses used mostly slang. Today the line between slang and proper words is quite vague and most 'vulgar' words are so old and commonly used that they could hardly qualify as slang anymore. On top of this it is very rare that the use of slang in and of itself is even considered vulgar. So why do we hold onto this notion of vulgarity still? One idea is that class distinction has obviously not vanished completely but I have another theory as well. I think that society intentionally creates and sets aside certain classes of words that are considered vulgar. I think that people want words with the power to titillate them and provoke others. Words that are common, frequently used, or clinical generally don't possess this power. Even know as the classic four letter words are becoming common place new much more graphic and extreme slang terms are coming into use most of which I seriously doubt your average adult is aware of. Ofcourse this is an American/Californian perspective. What are others experiences in other areas and cultures?