Opinion

Is swearing really the problem?

As kids we were taught to never swear. It’s rude, disrespectful, and it’s only for sailors. Growing up, most are threatened with a bar of soap if you slip up in front of an adult. But are swears really what’s bad, or is it just the reputation given to them that make them seem so negative?

Our brains give us the power to communicate and express ourselves with language. When speaking or describing something, a curse word could be used as a meaningless intensifier. It is a way to express yourself and how you feel in a specific tone. For some reason, though, these certain words have been marked as socially unacceptable. Our minds are trained to filter out these words when heard and to make more out of them than what they really are; just words.

This does not mean that swearing is okay all of the time, like if they are used to insult someone. But that’s the case with many other words that aren’t swears too, like referring to someone as dumb or stupid. It all depends on the context at play.

If someone is walking around repeating the same word over and over again, then yes, that is a little obnoxious. But if you are talking to someone and they say, “Yeah my day has been pretty shitty,” there is no reason to view that person like they did something indecent.

A simple way to weaken how intense swears seem is starting with children. Rather than scolding them and saying that swears are bad, we should explain to them that swears aren’t bad, but they can’t use them until they are older and more mature.

It is all a personal basis on what parents allow their children to say and when, but the common perspective of swears being unintelligent, vulgar and offensive should be changed to take away how negative they seem. If taught at a young age, that these certain words are simply a part of common language, when grown up, there will be nothing about them that makes them stand out as much as they do now.

Once something is given a bad reputation, it can be difficult to change the way it is looked at. If this perception were to change though, and were more accepted, people could use them in everyday life, in news articles and on the radio. There would then be more coloring in conversation or in stories. Journalists would not have to work around “bleeping” out swears, same with radio and most TV shows. Adults would not have to worry about always being aware if children are around when they swear. Swearing is a part of our culture and is not going anywhere. It will be easier if our society accepted it, rather than try to eliminate it and view it as unintelligent.