Feedback: "Profanity in Teen Ink"

October 11, 2012
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Profanity in Teen Ink by Colin W is a very well written article questioning the logic of censoring inappropriate language in Teen Ink. Several valid points were given, some of which including that these words are part of daily life and “Limiting profanity to ‘protect’ the young, impressionable minds of the Teen Ink audience is futile,” as Colin wrote. The editors of Teen Ink even threw in valid points against Colin’s arguments to boot. However, I must say that I, with all points given where due with his vivid choice in words, disagree with Colin’s idea that curses should not be censored. On a broader sense, the use of profane language to that extent should be altogether excluded, unless a character is described that speaks in a way that warrants the use of such language.
We do include these words in our daily lives and there, on one hand, seems to be no reason they should be excluded or censored in print, like Colin pointed out. However, I must agree with the Editor’s Response found at the bottom of Colin’s article: “…it’s important to be aware that when arguing a point — especially across generations — your intelligent assertions may be eroded for your audience when you employ slang or profanity.” In other words, spewing swears every other word makes you seem as if you have simply nothing else to say, which most likely isn’t the aim of an educated piece of work. You simply regurgitate words that have been used countless times over.
Colin said that these words have become a part of our daily vocabulary, but in all honesty, they should not have become as so. There is no reason someone couldn’t just describe something as ‘awful’. Using curses over and over again is repetitive, as I stated earlier, and does not belong in an educated piece of literature. Therefore, in my opinion, Teen Ink is good to ‘asterisks out’ words that should not have been there in the first place, Colin.
It is also, of course, the individual person’s option whether to curse or not and how to portray themselves, but, as a general rule, intelligent people do not need to curse. Colin said, “…Teen Ink should remain in continuous conversation on what is and isn’t acceptable so the publication can better represent the parlance, and thus the reality, of its contributors.” True, but perhaps publication should not reflect the unintelligent, inarticulate, portions of humanity.
Think about how you want to be viewed, especially in print.

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