What's So "Bad" About Bad Language? | Teen Ink

What's So "Bad" About Bad Language?

November 18, 2014
By Nightingale74 PLATINUM, Beavercreek, Ohio
Nightingale74 PLATINUM, Beavercreek, Ohio
46 articles 0 photos 152 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you need something to believe in, believe in yourself."
"A poem unwritten is only a thought; unshared, unsaid..."

I’m going to ask all of you for just a minute, to put yourself back in the sixth grade, fresh out of elementary school. It’s the first day of school, and you walk through the doors with a smile on your face. You begin to search the sea of heads for your best friend from fifth grade. When you spot him (or her), you wave and walk over. But you weren’t watching where you were going, and you ran right into a very intimidating eighth grader, making her books fly everywhere! After helping her pick up the books, you try to apologize, but she just calls you an obscene name and stomps off. You are shocked! Never before had someone called you anything close to that! As the week progresses, you continue to hear words that you are not accustomed to hearing on a regular basis. To your dismay, your best friend even starts to use this vulgar language. It really starts to disturb you how often you hear these profane words. The use of bad language is something that is really starting to become a big problem in our society. We need to rid the world of this garbage that has become a “necessity,” because this kind of language creates an undesirable image for yourself, it has a large impact on young children, and it leaves you with a bad feeling; it keeps you from feeling the influence of our Heavenly Father.

Let me elaborate. The kind of language you use says a lot about you. For example, imagine you are interviewing someone for a job. And this person just has no filter whatsoever, they’re dropping swear words like there’s no tomorrow! What kind of impression did this person leave on you? Are you likely to give them the job? Chances are, you probably weren’t very impressed by this person and therefore, they aren’t likely to get the job. Foul language has long been considered as rude and disrespectful, so when you use it, essentially, you’re telling the world that you’re okay with that. It’s not a very mature or sophisticated image.

Children learn through mimicry. It’s essentially “monkey see, monkey do,” or in this case, “monkey hear, monkey say.” When a young child hears someone they look up to– such as a parent or other adult– use vulgar words, they are likely to repeat those words because they do not know they are wrong. The child then grows up thinking it is okay to use that kind of language. The fact that our society is so laced with profane language means that it is bound to have an impact on children. I ask you, why would we want to corrupt such innocence?
One of the most important reasons why we should rid the world of bad language, is the way that those inappropriate words make you feel. Maybe you’ve experienced this, because I know I have. Have you ever seen a movie or listened to a song that was full of profanity? How did you feel afterwards? I know for me, when I hear a bad word, it stays in my head, and it doesn’t give me a good feeling. Maybe it isn’t necessarily a “bad” feeling, but it most certainly isn’t a good feeling either. I don’t feel the influence of our Heavenly Father. This is true for all of us, whether we notice it or not. Bad language cannot exist in God’s presence, so when we expose ourselves to it, we cannot feel his influence. 

Now some of you may believe that swearing makes you look “cool,” or that it’s okay to do it because everyone else does. To this I will say that though you may think swearing makes you look trendy or popular, in actuality, it doesn’t. Using swear words sends the message to other people that your vocabulary is based on what everyone else’s is. It says that you aren’t very creative or original. Why not try something new and come up with your own vocabulary? That would send the message that you are confident in yourself and that you are okay with being your own person.

You may also be wondering what is so “bad” about these “bad” words. They’re just words, aren’t they? How can they possibly affect me and those around me the way you say they will? In answer to this, I conducted an experiment. I filled two glass bottles halfway with water. Then I said nice, encouraging things to one of the bottles and I said mean, rude, and discouraging things to the other bottle. After I talked to the bottles of water, I then froze them for about 24 hours. When I took them out of the freezer to observe what had happened, I made an interesting discovery. The bottle to which I had spoken kind things, held a beautiful, flawless chunk of ice, but the bottle to which I had spoken mean things held a chunk of ice that had many cracks. I also did a little research on the Internet, and I found out that a scientist named Dr. Masuru Emotos conducted a similar experiment, receiving similar results. Dr. Masuru Emotos then wrote the books, Messages from Water and More Messages from Water based on his findings¹. Now I’ll give you a question to ponder. Knowing how bad language affects water, and also knowing that our bodies are made of 70% water, how do you think vulgar language affects our bodies?

In conclusion, I would like to point out that while bad language has a bad effect on us, the opposite is also true. Kind, encouraging words have a positive effect on us. So I urge you to be different from the rest of the world, and think twice about what you say, because it could have a negative effect on those around you, like in the example of the sixth grader I used earlier. Let’s discard this awful habit that our society has developed, because it doesn’t do any good, in fact, the use of profanity creates an undesirable image for yourself, it has a large impact on young children, and it leaves you with a bad feeling; it keeps you from feeling the influence of our Heavenly Father.  I challenge you to stop swearing; don’t use bad language just because everyone else is doing it– don’t descend to their level. Instead, use good and uplifting language rather than rude and degrading language. I promise that if you do this, and stick to it, you will not only make a difference in your own life, but in the lives of those around you.

¹ A Zhengjian Reporter, “Another World Underneath a Drop of Water: (Part 2) Some Thoughts on the Water Crystal Experiments”, PureInsite.org, 2000-2013. October 17, 2013

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This article has 2 comments.

on Nov. 27 2014 at 12:41 pm
Nightingale74 PLATINUM, Beavercreek, Ohio
46 articles 0 photos 152 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you need something to believe in, believe in yourself."
"A poem unwritten is only a thought; unshared, unsaid..."

Thank you for your comment Liv!! :D And I hope this article does the trick for your friends! And yeah, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or more commonly known as the Mormon church. My religion is a huge part of my life...I guess it just seeps into my writing without really meaning to haha :) And I've also met MissEmilyDickenson, I've read and commented on some of her work :) I find it a little funny that you say she reminds you of me, because I think she reminds me of you a little bit! ;) But thank you again for commenting and taking the time to read my article! :D

on Nov. 26 2014 at 10:38 pm
Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
325 articles 10 photos 1165 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To these the past hath its phantoms,
More real than solid earth;
And to these death does not mean decay,
But only another birth"
- Isabella Banks

Wow! I've always had a hard time trying to convince my friends to stop swearing, but this article could do the trick! The way you explained and even did the experiment was pretty amazing, not to mention awesome! I really loved this and hope it gets published!     P.S. I didn't know you were a Christian too! That's awesome :) You shgould meet MissEmilyDickenson she's another poet on here :) She reminds me a lot of you :)