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Swearing - A Second Language

Updated on December 12, 2011

I'll be honest, I swear a lot. I never really did until high school.

In middle school, you were cool if you swore. You were cool if you hung out with the right people, dressed the right way, wore makeup, and swore. Middle school is so overrated, but it seems to me that's how a lot of things start; in high school, they just continue from there. By the time I was in high school, I was so used to other people swearing that it kind of rubbed off on me. Not only did I hear it from people in my class, but now I was with older kids who did a lot worse stuff than swearing.

Swearing became a part of my language, and it never really occurred to me as a bad thing. Obviously I knew to watch my mouth. I only swore when I was with my friends - never in front of teachers or parents.

But as the years went by, my parents did become an exception to that. I was never one to tell my parents to f*** off, but occasionally when I'm talking to my mom about "that b**** everyone hates", I let a few harmless words slip. She doesn't seem to mind the little things like that every now and then, but like any parent, she doesn't want to hear every swear word in one sentence, and I am careful about that.

Personally, I never cared much about it. It became part of my language. Everyone swears, and I often don't even notice when I hear or say it. It's like a fad. Fashions come and go and times are always changing. This is the 21st century and swearing has become a part of that. Maybe it was frowned upon 50 years ago, but we don't live in that time anymore. We change with the times through the years, and swearing is just one of those things that came with each passing year and every new generation is exposed to that, making that become a part of their zeitgeist.

Swearing is everywhere - it's on TV, in books and songs, and it's part of conversation. You can't just tell someone they can't swear because that's just what people do. It's how they express themselves.

But with swearing does come responsibility. There will be people who don't want to hear it and you have to be respectful of that. There is a time and place for everything; if you want to swear, you need to know when and where to do it. You wouldn't swear at a job interview, would you?

You could also argue the point of young kids being exposed to the language of swearing. It isn't right to swear at or near a child, just like it isn't right to hit other people. Kids learn from what goes on around them, and it goes along with having respect. Obviously kids can pick up swears from the media, but it is the job of the parent to control what their kids are allowed to see and hear, and we have to respect that.


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    • profile image

      Ghaelach 6 years ago

      Hi Katie.

      I've travelled the world quite a lot and find on the subject of swearing that some countries use it more than others. As i have heard the Scot's, Irish, Americans, Australians but also in different regions in each land can be used more than the next, ie Liverpool uses it a lot more than say Carlisle.

      Swearing has always been used but now-a-days is more common, more open.

      Glad my gran can't here it all being spoken.

      Take care Katie and have a nice day.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • MissKatieLynne profile image

      Katrina 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Both great points - just what I wanted to bring up :) Thank you both for sharing!

    • LHwritings profile image

      Lyndon Henry 6 years ago from Central Texas

      You raise some quite interesting points. I think the problem with excessive cussing (swearing) is that (1) it's a substitute for richer, more precise, more articulate speech, and (2) it wastes explosive words that should be reserved for more appropriate usage (such as moments of crisis, aggression, fear, etc.). People pepper their ordinary speech with lots of f--ks and sh-ts and so on, and they basically use these up, and are at a loss when some really strong words are needed.


    • wixor profile image

      wixor 6 years ago

      Interesting, and it begs the question: why is swearing wrong?

      I understand keeping certain language away from children, who are unable to form their own judgements.

      Or if swearing is used with anger, that can be intimidating physically, and so is inappropriate.

      But why is bad language frowned upon in general conversation?