No, this isn’t a blog about Qbert.
I remember when I was a kid, The Simpsons was just growing to be very popular. One day, in a store, I read something I saw on a Bart Simpson t-shirt. My mom gave me the spanking of a lifetime and forbade me from ever watching the show again. It didn’t seem to matter that most grown-up males in my family used much stronger language. Needless to say, I was taught at a very young age that swear words were bad.
But why are they bad? This nagged at me from youth and is still something I question to this day.
Is it the words themselves? Or is it the meaning?
A lot of curse words are expletives, words that literally have no meaning. Something one might yell when they stub their toe on furniture in the middle of the night. But if you have an issue with these words, why not get upset when someone yells “Ouch!” They literally have the same meaning.
Maybe it’s just the words themselves. People don’t like how they roll of the tongue. But the argument falters there as well. You can shush someone with a quick “Shh!” or refer to an object as an “it,” but if you ever combine the two syllables you’re in trouble. I’ve even heard someone call a dam a “water-stopper” just to avoid the taboo.
I guess there are moral reasons for not using curse words. I know many Christians find it to be a sin, but how can you say someone can go to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks just for mentioning that very place?
A lot of people say it shows a lack of maturity. Who decided this? They’re just words, same as any other. The thing about the English language is that several words can be used to describe one thing. Why throw stones at specific ones?
Personally, I’m a fan of cursing. If something bad happens, it can actually be VERY therapeutic to let loose with a nice swear (I’m not talking about directing it at a person here, just in general). In fact, I think curse words are the most honest words in our language. Getting back to the toe stubbing analogy, you’re probably not thinking “Oh my, that hurt,” you’re probably going with your first instinct (and that instinct may not even be a word in some cases). How can you fault someone for an instant reaction?
If someone doesn’t use a curse word in normal conversation, I’ll probably have a hard time trusting them. Because of the “professional” mindset people seem to have these days, most people will try to watch their language when addressing new people. I even do it myself. But if that other person drops an f-bomb or two, I immediately feel more comfortable around them, because I can talk to them like an actual human being.
I think I’ve said all I need to say here for now. If you’ve read this and still think “curse” words should not be part of everyday language, just think about this: When you think of a curse word, what do you actively replace it with? Wouldn’t it make that new word the curse word?
To further my point, I abstained from using a single swear in this blog.