One thing I’ve never understood is why so many people are offended by curse words, yet their usage is more than common. It just bugs me. Anyway, surfing through the sewers of the Internet I found the four common arguments used to disapprove of profanity. I’m not going to bother linking to it because that would give the site free publicity and I hate linking to crap. So, let’s examine and disapprove of their disapproving arguments.
1. Cussers don’t care if they bother people. Not really. Most people are mindful of their mouths, myself included. If profanity really bothers someone and I know it, I’ll make an effort not to use those words around them out of respect. Liking and respecting them helps too. Also, why should we care? Profanity usage is quite common. If profanity bothered so many people, the usage of those words wouldn’t be as common. Obviously, people aren’t as bothered by profanity as they’re suggested to be.
2. Cussers don’t have the vocab skills to express themselves properly. Actually, most curse words are just synonyms of similar (yet more socially acceptable) words. Also, profanity does enhance expression. Personally, I can’t stand people who don’t use profanity but use all kinds of euphemisms in its place. This criticism ties in with the next point…
3. Cussers don’t use the words according to the definition. OK, this one has some merit. People don’t…but some do. Besides, definitions change with the times. “Bitch” used to be the most offensive term someone could call a woman. Nowadays, bitch is second-rate. In fact, some women love to be called “bitches”.
4. Cussers often disrespect the name of God. I wonder if that argument implies cussing is for atheists… Anyway, it’s obvious this person has never met me. Someone once asked me why the only curse word I bother abstaining from is “God d***”. It’s the only curse word that has never changed it’s definition (it’s always been offensive) and has been around for a few thousand years, at least. “Bitch”, on the other hand, has been around for over a thousand years, but has changed in it’s acceptance and offensiveness. Same goes for “fuck”, but for a shorter time span.
I recommend checking out The Encyclopedia of Swearing by Geoffrey Hughes. A comprehensive, detailed history at how profane words have evolved over time.
“One fellow shewed us his backside in such a manner that it was not necessary to have an interpreter.”