Swearing and the Consequences

December 28, 2017
By thenovelwright BRONZE, Cedar Hills, Utah
thenovelwright BRONZE, Cedar Hills, Utah
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it." - A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

Language matters. It would be assumed that almost any educated person could agree with that simple statement, considering we live in a society that glorifies language and communication. That said, addressing a modern-day trend, exceedingly becoming accepted and more common by the year, may appear as a bit dangerous.

Swearing: the vilest and most known, yet not acknowledged, enemy to an educated mind and a moral population.

Now, swearing should always be looked at in a relative point-of-view. For one person, even the word “sexy” might trigger some indecent understanding or uncomfortable situation. Whereas other people gladly go around their days, tossing out every swear word in the English language—giving not one thought about the taint and stain infecting them with every utterance.

Famously released in 1972 was George Carlin’s “Seven Swear Words You Can Never Say on Television.” These seven swear words (which will most certainly not be listed in this essay) are now widely accepted, by most Americans, as the seven swear words. After the release of his essay/book on the words, the population saw a near 25% increase in immoral language in the base vernacular of the country.

The connection between the release of Carlin’s words and the increase thereof may be similar to the phenomenon of the “War on Drugs”, which did nearly nothing but increase the number of people taking the drugs. It could be hypothesized that once people were educated about the swear words, their meanings, and why they should not be used, it made them want to even more.

Thankfully, as it should come as no surprise, most of the American population looks down upon swearing (for the most part) as an immoral and undignified manner of speech. Parents still typically condemn their children for using foul language, and most television shows for the general public are still keeping the vulgarity at a minimum.


It comes as a surprise that the general population does not share the belief in swearing being one of the best signs of stupidity, considering it is associated with such taboo in our Western society. One might ask how such a broad, stereotyped conclusion as stupidity being the direct outcome of swearing could be settled. Well, the easy truth lies in why the “vulgar-criminal”, if you will, is even saying the word in the first place. They lack a vocabulary. They have nothing else to say, nothing more to give to the sentence than a lazy, crude “intensifier,” which they well know could offend another person. The taboo behind the words are associated with just how unintelligent they sound—made clear enough by the fact that there are near-dozens of equal synonyms to each of Carlin’s seven that have no taboo to them whatsoever.

But that should be just it. If it is taboo, why is it still practiced? The reason is simple and clear; dull people still exist and that is why swearing still exists.  It is implausible and ludicrous to try and propose that it would be possible to end all swearing collectively. As long as the uneducated, immoral exist, swearing will exist.

Might it be possible that the reason behind all this profanity is the population’s simple lack of misunderstanding that they have, at their disposal, over one million words to their complete use. In the English-speaking world, we have the largest vocabulary and dictionary of any language that has ever existed—so to swear would, in sense, be a proclamation unto the world that the person has no ability to draw from a pool of innumerable words.
Swearing, unfortunately, has leaked into nearly all forms of entertainment we have in this era. Social media, television, games, movies, music, art, theatre—nearly every form of recreation and pop-culture has been infected with the virus that is swearing. To purge ourselves of it would be practically impossible, nearly forcing us to rewind the clock a half-century back to the 50s—the golden time for all pop-culture.

Swearing is simply wrong. Even more, swearing is simply unnecessary. The wickedly-uninformed will pass swearing off as perhaps nothing, something of little matter, or even artistic. Well, in complete honesty, there exists not a single swear word in the Bible, yet that holds more artistic value than any Kanye rap song.

The author's comments:

I found inspiration for this essay after living through, witnessing, and experiencing through association, the effects and negative consequences of vulgarity and profanity in early life and beyond.


I am not one to judge. I would never condemn, accuse, or ostracize anyone based on the quality of their language alone. That is hypocrisy and anti-Christianity at its finest. After all, "actions speak louder than words", therefore one can only morally dictate someone's "morality", if you will, based on the actions that they might make.


That said, I hope, and cherish the thought, that this might spark a small recognition or understanding in the mind of one reader still yet to swear, or one reader riddled with vulgar language, that swearing has no value and only harms an individual. Perhaps with this knowledge, even a few swear words could be prevented from escaping the mouth in a single day. It would be irrational, and frankly impossible, to even consider the disappearance of obscenity altogether, nonetheless, awareness is the first step to change; I believe this wholeheartedly. 

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