Swearing good for people, says Ukrainian health minister

By Kris Bramwell & Yuriy Martynenko
BBC News & BBC Monitoring

image captionThe acting health minister of Ukraine Ulana Suprun has said swearing may be good for people's health.

We've probably all sworn at least once in our lives.

Whether for relief or to express frustration, swear words are a versatile part of language.

In Ukraine, the acting health minister Ulana Suprun has suggested that swear words can be good for your health as the use of them can indicate strong relationships and "good emotional contact" between people.

She was commenting in response to a proposed new law being put forward by MP Olha Bohomolets, which aims to stop public figures from swearing in the media.

It says that people swearing on TV and in public speeches could be fined up to 1,275 Ukrainian hryvnias ($49; £39).

But Dr Suprun's view is that cursing can be useful in extreme situations, saying "in a number of cases the use of swear words means that people are close to each other and there is a good emotional contact between them".

She added that people should work on removing their feelings of aggression rather than their obscene language.

image copyrightUlyana Suprun
image captionUlana Suprun posted a meme of Leonardo DiCaprio saying "The law forbids swearing?"

The health minister's Facebook post has been reacted to more than 21,000 times so far.

One of the most popular comments, which has been liked more than 2,700 times so far, says Ms Bohomolets probably cursed when she saw Dr Suprun's post.

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'Swearing rooms'

image copyrightYevhen Mudzhyri
image captionJournalist Yevhen Mudzhyri has imagined dedicated space for people who want to swear

Despite the legislation being aimed at public figures and not ordinary people, many have joked on social media about how their lives could change as a result.

Yevhen Halahan wondered how Ukrainians would be able to "talk about life in Ukraine" if the anti-swearing law is passed.

Many others imagined a world where people could swear in dedicated spaces.

Journalist Yevhen Mudzhyri suggested that "swearing rooms" may be introduced in offices and that there could be separate zones in restaurants for smokers, non-smokers and for people who want to swear.

He went on to joke that children will not be accepted into schools without a "deswearing certificate" and cars will be imported into Ukraine only if they are equipped with a "deswearing button".

And many others have somewhat predictably responded to the idea of the new legislation with foul language.

The law on "countering foul language" is currently being examined by a parliamentary committee.

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