Caroline Marcus has an entertaining report on Aussie cussing in the Sydney Morning Herald:
The University of Queensland’s Roly Sussex, a professor of applied language studies, said that in terms of attitudes to swearing, the US and Australia were on opposite ends of the spectrum, with Britain in the middle.
He pointed to the Prime Minister’s dropping of the word “shitstorm” on national television in March as a reflection of Australian mores. “The sort of words that Mr Rudd has been using in the media are completely unacceptable for President Barack Obama to be using,” Professor Sussex said. “Some people even thought the Prime Minister’s use of the S-word in the media made him sound more like an everyday person.”
So, too, Tourism Australia’s 2006 campaign, “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?” “That had trouble in England because of the word ‘bloody’ and it had trouble in Canada because of the word ‘hell’,” Professor Sussex said. “Neither caused the slightest trouble in Australia.”
Now, that’s what I call a healthy attitude.