I agree with this:

“The kind of people who say swearing is the sign of a poor vocabulary,
usually have a pretty poor vocabulary themselves.” — Stephen Fry.

Click to watch video after the jump or 'more..'

That said, I’ve seen the real ‘shock’ effect an outburst of hot, emphatic ‘foul’ language can have on people, including kids — but it’s the intent and tone, I think, rather than the words themselves that can have that impact, in my view. Nasty, cutting remarks or bullying abuse are quite a separate thing to using ‘naughty words’.

My wife tells me there’s research that indicated swearing increases one’s tolerance for pain — women in childbirth etc. I don’t know about that, but it sounds right.

If you like Fry (as I do) something else good from him is his 1995 eulogy of Peter Cook available at YouTube, thanks to some kind soul.