Throughout the day, we find ourselves exposed to foul language. Walking through the hallways at school, we hear profane words left and right. I have friends that cuss with every other word they speak. I’m just as much at fault.
Now, more than ever, curses are commonplace in highschool vernacular. These words were ingrained in us early on and we’ve learned to use it freely. Whether your daily vocabulary consists of several cuss words or just the occasional “shi*” in a fit of anger, almost everyone is guilty of it. Who hasn’t accidentally let a word slip when they slam their finger in a door or stub their toe on the coffee table? However, there used to be a day that when you cursed in public, it was like exploding a bomb; people would fall silent and stare at you with half-angry, open mouths. Mothers would clasp their hands over their children’s ears and push them away from you, desperately trying to keep their kids from such language. That time has clearly passed and we have entered into an era where profane language is common and viewed as something that isn’t intolerable anymore. It has come to the point where most people are okay with hearing these words constantly and we don’t even think twice when spitting out a curse word in middle of a conversation.
The evolution of profanity continues to change with each generation. Some cuss words have somehow maintained their original meanings throughout hundreds of years while many others have completely changed their meaning or simply fallen out of use. Bad language has evolved over many thousands of years to represent the lowest forms of human expression. Some words can cause the greatest offense if used casually and repeatedly at an inappropriate time or place or in the wrong company. Yet often, a well timed swear word can make people laugh. Even something as simple as the type of voice a person has can affect how the word is received. It seems that the reason most people are offended by certain words is simply that they have been conditioned that way. They were taught that the words were “bad words” and so they believe them to be bad words.
But why do so many people use these words? There are some people who hear words, come to accept them, and say them just because it is what everybody else is doing. Kids use cuss words because they think that they will seem cooler in front of their peers. They want to be considered part of the group and “fit in” with the crowd. Sometimes, swearing serves as a crutch for when you can’t articulate yourself more clearly. In the moment, you’re too angry to form a coherent thought. It happens. But other times, it’s just lazy vocabulary. If you’re swearing all the time, you should be asking why you are constantly at a loss for words. It seems that we use swear words to fill in silence when trying to think of an appropriate word or phrase. People are afraid of silence in conversation for some reason. This brings up another obstacle to overcome which can help ease up on unnecessary cursing.
It creeps into our workplace and into our homes. We need to find a way to diffuse some of this rage, and find more constructive ways to express it. Many use cussing as a form of expression and as a way to relieve stress and anger, but if you have to cuss to get a message across, then maybe your message isn’t worth getting across at all. You shouldn’t have to cuss every other word to express what you are trying to say.
Our growing tolerance of swear words is not a sign of progress. It is a sign of how we have lowered our standards. However, it’s the concept of self-improvement and making an effort to check yourself that really counts. Be cognizant of yourself and the words you are putting into the world.