IF you arrive at this page having updated yourself on the latest news at home and abroad, you may feel like throwing the odd four-letter word around as you curse what seems to be the utter logic-lacking madness at every turn. Well, go ahead. Swearing is officially good for you - and can ease your pain.

How so?

Although many would still consider it a sign of vulgarity, it transpires that letting rip verbally can make one feel more powerful, persuasive and socially connected. Researchers found that, in fact, “Swearing produces effects that are not observed with other forms of language use…thus, swearing is powerful. It generates a range of distinctive outcomes: physiological, cognitive, emotional, pain-relieving, interactional and rhetorical”.

How did they reach this conclusion?

Analysing more than 100 papers on swearing, the teams from Keele, Westminster, Ulster and Sweden’s Södertörn universities found that the “power of swearing is not intrinsic to the words themselves”, but more to what they mean and what they induce.

Such as?

Cursing can lead to “social bonding and solidarity” because the act of swearing is perceived as a sign of intimacy among friends - while, people are more likely to be “polite” with those they are not as close to. The paper adds that “because it is not possible for most people to swear indiscriminately across all contexts, swearing often marks an informal, relaxed context wherein social bonds are strengthened and social distance is reduced”.

It can ease pain?

According to the new research, published in the journal Lingua, swearing can indeed help people cope with pain. Highlighting a study where participants were asked to keep their hands in ice water for as long as possible, for those who were allowed to swear, doing so "was shown to significantly increase pain tolerance...producing a demonstrable hypoalgesic effect...the participants' pain threshold increased”.

But it can do more than that…?

The research found swearing not only "increases power and strength in physical activity tasks", but offers a "uniquely powerful means of emotional expression" and "powerful means of gaining attention from listeners", "creates emotional and physiological arousal" and "judiciously used" can "increase credibility and/or persuasiveness of both messages and speakers themselves”.

Some of us already know this?

Actress Miriam Margolyes turned the air blue on BBC Radio 4's Today programme last month while talking of her brush with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who had been on before her, saying: "What I really wanted to say was ‘f*** you, you b*****d’. But you can't say that”. Over on Channel 4, news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy was taken off air for a week after he was caught making an offensive comment off-camera about Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker, saying, “What a c***.”

Going back in time?

American writer Mark Twain memorably said: “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer."