Excessive Swearing in Teenagers | Teen Ink

Excessive Swearing in Teenagers

February 20, 2013
By jswanson15 BRONZE, Minneapolis, Minnesota
jswanson15 BRONZE, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

If Barack Obama went on national television, and gave an important speech to the nation, using swear words at the rate that teenagers use them, would anyone take him seriously? No! Would he have been reelected? Absolutely not!

At an important business meeting, would a businessperson use swear words at the rate that teenagers use them? Most definitely not! Would he or she keep their job if they swore in this situation? Without a doubt, no!

I find it that teenagers swear too much, in unnecessary situations, which in turn makes them sound uneducated and immature. Teenagers use swear words constantly, showing a complete lack of respect for themselves and others around them, which they do because they really don’t think about what they are saying, or they don’t know what they are actually saying means.

According to Timothy Jay, a Professor of Psychology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who teaches Introduction to Psychology, Human Communication and Perception, and Language and Censorship among other classes, (MCLA), it is “conversational swearing—in the hallway and in the classroom—that is on the rise” and that “the average adolescent uses roughly 80 to 90 swear words a day” (Glover). Evidence of this is in my daily life in school; I hear teenagers saying swear words, especially the f-bomb. Many teens have to make a simple, everyday object like a chair the “F***ing chair” or the “F***ing desk” instead of just the “chair” or the “desk.” Teens also have found a way to make the F-word, and to a lesser extent the S-word into a noun, adjective, adverb, verb, and every other part of speech. Even worse, teenagers use these hurtful, disgusting words to call another person a disrespectful, maybe even evil name.

“That woman is an f***ing b***h!”

“You are a worthless piece of “s**t!”

There is also the often used “F**k you!” which could mean that one wants another person wants another to get raped, which is very inappropriate. There’s also “God d**n it!” which also is completely uncalled for because it is calling God to send someone or something to hell. According to Kaley McGrew, a 13-year-old 7th grader at R.W. Emerson Junior High in Davis, California: "Some people swear and they don't even think about what they are doing; they just say [the swear word]. It's just become casual to them” (Glover). In other words, teens are using words that might not reflect what they are really trying to say.

Seriously? Can’t my fellow teenagers behave like they are at least somewhat civilized and educated? I know that I, being a teenager, am guilty of using inappropriate language including swear words sometimes, but I find it ridiculous that people, especially teenagers, find the need to swear what seems like every other word. Even in a classroom setting or other situations where adults are present, teenagers continue to use their foul language, just as much as they would in situations where no adults are present.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are certain occasions when using swear words might be understandable, but these occasions are really infrequent. For example, if one experiences extreme and sudden pain, using a swear word would be understandable. To emphasize an important point, swearing might also be acceptable, if used sparingly. If a life threatening accident happened or almost happened, this would also be another time when one might legitimately feel the urge to let loose a stream of 4 letter words. However, swear words being used in everyday casual conversation as constantly as they are is completely inappropriate, and very annoying, and this is a problem that must be corrected.

I believe that teenagers use swear words in everyday conversation because they think it makes them sound cool, and they want to fit in with their friends, which but I believe that this can be changed. When I am with some of my friends who do not swear, if feel less inclined to swear because I don’t feel awkward not swearing. However, when I am with other friends who do swear a bit more, then I tend to use four letter words as well.

From my personal experience, if a person doesn’t swear around their friends, then their friends will be less inclined to swear as well. On my swim team, swearing is prohibited by our coach, both in the locker room and on the pool deck during practice. In fact, if someone swears on our swim team regularly, they are often considered to be very disrespectful, and disruptive, and they are disliked by the other members of the team. Ideally, everywhere, teenagers would use the appropriate language that we us on my swim team. Also, other adults must follow my swim coach’s lead and enforce a no swearing policy, as it is clearly effective. Adults, especially those in authority positions must also set a positive example for teenagers by using not using swear words, because teenagers often copy what adults in authority do and say. If it were cool not to swear, that would be cool indeed!

It is clear that teenagers use far too many swear words, which makes them sound uneducated and immature; this is a problem that must be corrected. If all teenagers could behave like they do at my swim team, this would be ideal, and teenagers everywhere would sound much more educated and mature.

Works Cited
Glover, Melanie B. "What the heck? Casual cursing by teens is rising." Deseret News.
N.p., 25 Feb. 2008. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.

MCLA-Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.

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This article has 1 comment.

Evilyna said...
on Aug. 18 2014 at 5:11 am
Swearing can sound sophisticated when combined with complex vocabulary: many classic novels such as Catch-22 are incredibly foul-mouthed. Using profanity sparingly when the situation calls for it, such as in a satirical context, does not automatically make one "uneducated" and "immature"; in my opinion, it's not the words themselves that are causing the problems. It's the hateful, bigoted and misogynistic attitudes carried by so many young people today that really ruins the image of our generation. I know several people who swear in almost every sentence and are still extremely kind and good-natured while, conversely, Adolf Hitler was not known for cursing regularly yet still managed to be one of the world's most notorious dictators. Actions speak much, much louder than words and, in my view, swearing in a appropriate context is much better than insulting someone without the use of profanity.