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That’s all it takes: four innocent stars. The notoriety of certain words have reached the point where simple representation or symbolism is enough to irk a reaction out of people – yours being reading this article.

If you haven’t guessed already, the “no-no” I speak of is cussing. Before we dive into this argument, let us understand a few (what would be known in geometry as) “givens.” No, I am not advocating the allowance or exposure of children to cussing, seeing as how they are completely unable to truly understand half of the phrases they use on a daily basis. Also, I am not here to wave my little finger at those who disapprove of the use of these words. I am simply providing an argument. I would also like to clarify that this article applies to specifically my generation, not at all to our parents or their generation in general.

With this in mind, let us look back at the Shakespearean time. Although the style and words used in that time were incredibly different in comparison to today, it was English. Moving on to the 1950s, it was different, but it was English. Even though the same language was used throughout all of the latter, English, by nature, has slowly evolved as time goes by. The main purpose of language itself is to communicate in the most effective or efficient way possible, and this requires the continuous adaptation of the language to the current population.

Somehow, as time passed, various words have developed a horrendous connotation. They are deemed immoral to use under any circumstance. Why? Nearly all of these “foul” words are simple synonyms of others. In my mind, they are a part of this generation’s arsenal of vocabulary, or are a new part of speech. These words allow many teenagers to express certain ideas or plain emotion in ways that seem (to us at least) to the point. These “vulgarities” enable us to emphasize how great or small something is in a way that we deem most efficient.


The problem is – like all words in English – when they are not fully understood but are still used, there is a great misunderstanding in what is being said. Everyone has experienced this as a child as they first began building their vocabulary. Some of the words we used had definitions we still couldn’t fully grasp, but we still used them – just improperly. Most, I would like to say about 75%, of the American population cannot and should not cuss because of either their inability to truly comprehend what they are expressing, or the fact that the diction or mood of their individual speech do not require these words. The last thing I want is for (as I have seen before) teenagers trying to boost their “cool status” (because they have none) by sprinkling and spraying these words in every sentence they utter!

Also, I find that teenagers today have very few means to express a critical emotion: anger. Use of cussing is a simple way to release this built up anger. Since it is somewhat strange to just plain old scream, cussing seems like a better option. A couple of words under your breath to no one in particular can do a great deal for your emotional health – in comparison to holding it in. The tricky part is restraining from using these words in anger towards someone (unless you’re fitting for a fight – verbal or physical).

And now, the religious aspect. I have been told repeatedly, as a Christian, cussing is a sin and anger is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but if these words are just another part of our daily vocabulary, is it still wrong? If you eliminate the anger and hate from these words, are they still bad? The Bible said cursing is a sin, but if it isn’t a curse, is that word immoral? Now that I have spoken, is cussing, to you, wrong?



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Blooper195 said...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 12:03 am:
cussing isnt a good way to release your anger. if teenagers have anger what they shouold do is talk about it. i dont cuss because i have no need to. if im angry and need to shout something i use words like "darn." cuss words shouldnt be a part of our regular vocabulary, but unfortunatly they are; but if people would just stand up and stop cussing since it gets us nowhere, maybe that could change.
 
saimne This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm :

darn to me is an elementary form of releasing anger for basic elementary problems. if darn works for you, great. you are lucky enough to be able to release your anger with that simple word. others of us have much more anger that requires stronger words. 

Talking it out? that works for very specific cases. not necessarily the ones where cussing is, in my opinion of course, necessary.

 
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