Before an in depth study of any subject may begin, a clear and concise definition of terms must be rendered. Let us refer first to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, copyright 1971 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Therein we find the following entry:
fart (fart) intr. v. farted, farting, farts. Vulgar. To expel intestinal gas through the anus; break wind. n. 1. Vulgar. A usually audible anal discharge of intestinal gas. 2. Vulgar slang. A mean contemptible person. (Middle English farten. Old English feortan (unattested).
The Funk & Wagnall’s New Comprehensive International Dictionary of the English Language, copyright 1978 by J.G. Ferguson Publishing Company gives the following definition:
fart (fart) n. An anal emission of intestinal gasses, especially when audible: now a vulgar term. v.i. To emit gas in such a way. (ME farten. Cf. OHG ferzan).
Other dictionaries checked gave the same or similar entries. Almost without exception, the words vulgar term were associated with the definition. This revealed to our researches the reason behind the lack
of published material on the fart, i.e., since the dictionaries of the English language have labeled the fart as a vulgar word, the English speaking peoples of the world have associated the two. In other words, because of the definition, and only for that reason, the fart, to fart, or farting is considered vulgar.
We have therefore written our own definition – one which we hope will appear in the dictionaries in the very near future.
The International Fart Institute definition:
fart (fart) n. of or pertaining to the family phartus, members of which are usually characterized by a specific sound. Sometimes, but not always accompanied by various and sundry odors – sometimes offensive, sometimes not. May be produced as a greeting, a sign of disgust, a hobby, a relief, or (as in the case of clearing the throat) simply to get attention. v.i. to create or produce any member of the family phartus. Archaic. a vulgar term used to describe the sound made when intestinal gas is forced through the anus.