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Friends, I feel it necessary to call attention to a troubling and common plight today. It is so vulgar, so vile, that it pains me to have to write about it now. We have been taught by our English teachers to respect and revere language. Words are strong conveyances of emotion. They have the power to either build a city or completely demolish it. They’re the most underestimated tools we have, and they should be treated like the world-altering things they really are. However, a widespread discrimination is gripping our society. Certain words are denounced as “dirty”, “disrespectful”, “crude”, and “bad”. Bad language. Bad words. An arbitrary ruling imposed upon one of the most human, necessary, and emotion-laced facets of language we have: curse words.

Now, I have a feeling some of you might be getting a little nervous right now, but don’t worry. I’m not planning on dropping an f-bomb every other word. Curse words have their place, and that place isn’t before and after every conjunction. I’d like to take a moment to point out how I came up with this topic. A couple weeks ago I was in the car with my mom and I was talking about something that ticked me off and a swear word slipped in. She of course immediately interrupted me with the typical response, “I really wish you wouldn’t say that.” This launched us into a very long debate about curse words. Her stance was that they were harmful make the speaker sound unintelligent.

She insisted that if you curse, people look down on you and think you’re uneducated. I totally disagree. I think if you curse BADLY, you’ll get negative feedback. Only inane, ignorant airheads think it’s alright to let out a long string of obscenities and still expect to be taken seriously. By the same token, substituting a “bad” word with a bunch of gobbledygook is just as disgraceful. It makes the speaker seem not only unintelligent, but like they’re afraid of the word. And, newsflash, when you say “What the F?” or “That girl is such a B,” we ALL know what you mean. This is not some fantasy world where if you only allude to the word without actually speaking it, no one has a clue as to what you meant to say. Just say what you mean. Please. You will sound so much smarter. Fake cursing is just as “bad” as real cursing. Even worse because if you do it around me you can be sure I’ll flash you one of those looks that says, “You are such a dumbass.”

To the argument that swear words are harmful, I say that they’re only as “harmful” as you make them. An insult is an insult no matter what words you use. Sometimes it’s even worse if the jibe is hidden under passive aggressive language. Want to know one word more damaging than a swear word? Stupid. Stupid is a hard word to recover from and you just can’t take stupid with a smile. I’d much rather be insulted with a swear word than be called stupid.

Besides, swear words are not always meant in a negative sense. In fact, if I had to guess I’d think 68% of the time, swear words aren’t used to be directed at people, but are instead intended to express a strong emotion instead of to hurt. Curse words are some of the most human words we have because to most people they come naturally, spur of the moment, without requiring much lucubration. They convey the raw emotion the person is feeling at the time. If you stop suddenly and try to think of another word to say instead of a “bad” word, that spontaneity and passion is now gone because you were too afraid to say the curse word.

In the end, swear words are just words like any other. They’re only as bad or as vulgar as the meaning behind them. Even then, more innocuous but socially acceptable words can be far more harmful. The prejudice society has against cursing is senseless and stupid. Censorship dehumanizes language and waters it down with PC euphemisms and unspoken “rules” about what you can and cannot say. What do I really think about all this oppression and restriction? Well, in simple terms, f*** this s***.



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ShattererofWorlds said...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 8:44 am

haha, i agree. swears aren't supposed to be in every sentence, but eliminating them completley is wrong too.

 

 
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