Because they are unnecessary. There are too many words in a vast language for one to have to use curse words. Honestly, it just makes one seem unintelligent.
I was taught that it's a sign of a limited vocabulary. Now I think that while that's undoubtedly true, it also reflects a negative attitude derived from negative thinking patterns. When thinking patterns do not serve us, it's best to change them. We are more in control of our thinking (and therefore our lives) that we are led to believe.
I think the idea of certain words being 'bad' has evolved over time. It's a curious thing to have happened because aren't words just different sounds? Different sounds, different meanings. So how come some are deemed 'filthy' whilst others are clean? Two points:
1. There is no doubt a religious angle here. Profanity - it means not sacred (out of the temple) is that which is obscene or blasphemous. It ran parallel with cleanliness is next to godliness. Having a filthy tongue meant you were likely to be an unholy person, or a little crazed. So swearing was looked down on.
2. The cultural issue. Bad language belonged to the lower classes, was associated with poverty, drunkenness and lewd behaviour. The higher classes therefore didn't want anything to do with street language and condemned it.
Nowadays things are a bit different. I recall a court case some years back in London. A woman complained of offensive language being used by a market stall owner on one of London's oldest markets, in the East End. He was taken to court for use of four letter words! However the market man said his expletives were part of the market language, had been for centuries, and that he wasn't going to change a lifetime's habit, and didn't mean anyone any harm! The judge agreed and let him go scot free!
Also, how many movies do you watch these days that are full of slang and swearing? Doesn't make it 'good' but it does acclimatise us gradually to the cursing world. Many well heeled people these days (specially the young) curse like mad! And you see the written form in supposedly classy newspapers.
I really don't like too much swearing. It's cheap and nasty, debasing. As an ex coalminer I heard plenty, more than enough, but the words were used correctly and with proper emotion, not like in some movies, where they're spat out purely for show and bravado!
Is It? OH ^#%@%$# !!! I guess I 'll have to remain silent then, @$@#%@!!!
It just sounds disrespectful even in the company of a bunch of trash mouth people. I did get a kick out of windygreen's answer though....hahahhahahahahah
If i dropped something or made a mistaken and said" SHIT!" Is it a swear / curse word? I don't say the "F" word because there are kids in my family. You may not know that they might listen and learn. Kids are good at imitating adults. Swearing the bad words often is bad. Should avoid to keep a good image in front of others and the kids too.
I tried to comment on your answer visionandfocus, but my comment was too long. (GRR blasted parameters!) Anyway, I deleted it and was going to write another, but I guess I can’t. So here was what I was trying to say.
I don’t get it, I mean less words, more limited, right? I think profanity is great to use in writing stories, poetry and (with moderation) things you are passionate about. I guess I can see why some would think profanity “reflects a negative attitude”, but why do you think that is? As a child, I was told not to use such words, but I was never told why; I mean “because they’re bad” is pretty vague. I would like my kids to know the meaning and origin of the words they hear in the world and if there is stigma attached to some words that would be part of it. I would like to know why too. I think if we dig deep enough, the basis for words being blacklisted would be trivial. If we are not aware of why we hold different beliefs, are we really in control of our own thinking?
I posted this question because there are so many things about our world and our ways that we just don’t question. I tried to post another question after this one, but for some reason it did not show up (strange). Was my question inappropriate? I am fairly certain that you can post more than one question a day, but I am new to this. I will try again later.
Anyway, thank you all for participating in my first question here.
If used in the appropriate context, around the appropriate people, it can work in your favour.
I mean, when you stub your toe really hard - "By golly gee whizz, did that smart!?!" doesn't make you feel any better. Even a muttered "%^%^$$$" or as I have done in this situations a 'breathe out" curse word - said quietly whilst exhaling....works better than anything else I've tried......I seem to stub my toes a lot, cause I've gotten this one down pat. Though, of late...I can't speak at all....I'm surprised I've not broken any!
There is one word I will not use....or type.
Why is swearing bad? Cause in the wrong situation, or at places of work, worship or in polite company is sounds crass, and nasty. In similar company, relaxing at home...one or two is okay. It's bad because we've put so much negative meaning into the words. LIke the one I won't say - cause it's demeaning to women.
What is and isn't profanity has changed drastically over the years. Originally, profanity only extended to blasphemy (you had to speak ill of something holy or sacred, or you had to speak flippantly about religious figures or religion itself). Which means unless you were directly insulting or disrespecting a temple, religion, religious figure, etc. then you weren't using profanity. Hence taking the Lord's name in vain as one of the 10 Commandments - you were being flippant about God, which was considered profane, because He was to be respected, etc.
As far as English is concerned, most of our "profane" words are of Germanic/other descent, whereas the more appropriate terms come from Latin. This isn't by coincidence or mistake. This was a direct result of, first Romans, and then the Church's power over people. Romans would hold Latin in a higher esteem than the "vulgar" languages (which really just means the languages spoken by those who didn't hold a wealthy/politically sound position in society). Later on, the Church held Latin as the language in which all services and translations of the Bible were in. So therefore, Latin and words derived from Latin were better than words derived from other languages, because Latin was the language of the Church and others could be considered pagan or too secular to be used by higher society.
However, there have been dozens of linguistic studies and research into the use of swearing and the act exists in all human forms of communication (and even chimpanzees have their own version of profanity). It helps further communication with others and it even helps lower stress levels, increase tolerance for pain, etc.
So basically, there's nothing wrong with swearing (unless you're a Christian and you're taking the Lord's name in vain). It's a social construct to reinforced dominance and class striations by the Church and carried through by habit.
And there's absolutely no merit to the whole "sign of limited vocab/intelligence". Profane words are still words and still belong in your vocabulary, so you could literally know billions of words and still choose to use something others consider "profane". After all, sometimes, "ass" just suits what you're trying to say better than anything else.
This essay is a little meditation on swearing, in response to a question posed by a hubber, sixteen months ago. read more
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