The Problem With Profanity
Profanity is Ugly
What is Profanity?
Mirriam-Webster’s definition of Profanity is:
a : the quality or state of being profane. b : the use of profane language. 2. a : profane language. b : an utterance of profane language.
Mirriam-Webster’s definition of Profane is to:
1. treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrate
2. to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use.
What Goes In Must Come Out
The Roots of Profanity and Profane Speech
Profanity is the state of being profane. Therefore a person who uses profanity is being irreverent, vulgar, and abusive. Millions of people use profanity and think nothing of it. A great number of those who use profanity even become offended or aggressive when reproached for using such language around children and others who prefer not to hear it. Many times the folks who are unwillingly exposed to such vulgarity are attacked when voicing their objections.
We live in a society where people feel they have the “right” to do anything they wish regardless of the effect on others. It is very common to hear swear words, even pornographic terms used anywhere and anytime. Just what is considered profanity and how did it come to be so accepted? Many religious and spiritual users of profanity will be surprised to know its roots.
The word profane originates from the Latin word “profanus" which means” before or outside the temple.” The term represented indifference or mockery of religion and religious figures. It was used to consciously desecrate what is considered holy by people called worshipers.
Profanity is Prevalent in Society
In today’s world, profanity is so common that few people consider the spiritual consequences. It is considered “cool” for youths to use profanity and to be crude in various ways. As they try to outdo one another, the language becomes more and more degrading. Indeed those people who do not use profanity develop a less than positive opinion of profanity users. It does degrade the user; they lose respectability and honor. How do children, young people and adults even learn these words?
Profane, crude, sexual language is commonly found in books, movies, newspapers; even church goers use it and think nothing of blurting out an awful, crude and ungodly word or phrase. Even so called self help, spiritual and inspirational writers often use profane words and language. As people of all ages watch television, read books and view movies, they absorb the content into their heart, brain and spirit. Like a shoe rubbing a heel, a callous grows until the sensitivity is gone. Then use of commonly heard words becomes normal and is not shocking anymore.
Given this shocking revelation it is no wonder children grow up in a culture that condones “cussing.” Many parents or caregivers think it funny when a toddler uses curse words or profanity. The child reacts to that attention by spewing more crude language and does so frequently on a regular basis. By the time he or she reaches school age, he is accustomed to using these words and progressively becomes bolder.
Film Ratings Have Been Updated
What Can Be Done To Stop This From Happening?
Parents and caregivers are responsible to guide children and teach them morality and values. This is true even for non Christian and non spiritual parents. Everyone should desire their little ones grow up to become a productive and positive member of society. Even most websites now allow profanity to be used in posts, forums and chat rooms. Yet some places still exist that promote proper and clean language. The workplace usually prohibits the use of profanity and curse words. Since our little ones will eventually grow up and enter the marketplace, they need to speak appropriate words.
To accomplish this huge goal, parents must monitor what children are exposed to, both verbally and visually.
Movies and television shows are required to post ratings so potential viewers are notified and aware of the content. These ratings also include sexual scenes and violence however we will focus on profanity in this article. A PG rating allows for a television show to contain
- suggestive dialogue (D)
- infrequent coarse language (L)
- some sexual situations (S)
- moderate violence (V).
Watch movies, television show, read books and preview other materials before allowing children to be exposed to them. Use the rating systems that are in place as a tool for parents. They will automatically eliminate the majority of entertainment on today’s market and assist concerned parents to carefully monitor appropriate choices for their children.
No She Didn't!
How To Stop Cursing and Using Profanity
Admit the bad habit and commit to stop using profanity and bad language. Think back to when you first started cursing and why you ever started uttering profanity.
- Did you parents use such words toward you?
- Perhaps it was a lack of education, self control or morality. Children who grow up exposed to inappropriate things often believe them to be normal and rational.
Determine why you want to stop.
- People who swear are considered low class or uneducated by others. Do you want others to see you in a different light?
- Have you come to see that profanity is immoral and abusive language?
- Are you reprimanded at work or by someone you respect?
- Make a list of reasons. They will be different for everyone.
Make yourself accountable.
- Enlist the help of friends, family, coworkers and spiritual advisers. Ask them to remind you when you use a curse word.
- Set up a jar, bank or account and pay a quarter or whatever amount you determine best every time you use a curse word.
- Remind yourself that other people deserve respect and should not have to hear you spew ugliness.
- Zip the lip. Think before you speak.
- Stop exposing yourself to movies, books and television shows that use profanity.Attend moral and positive places on a regular basis where profanity is not accepted by others who are there.
Expand your vocabulary. Millions of words exist in every language on earth.
- Do not limit yourself to unacceptable words that degrade you and make you less accepted by others.
- Use a dictionary and find words you like.
- Put them into use. Practice writing sentences so you know how to use them.
Reward yourself. Set a time limit, for example a week, and treat yourself for achieving your “no profanity” goal.
- Enjoy a favorite food.
- See a movie.
- But an expensive article of clothing you ordinarily would not spend that amount of money on.
- Take a day off and spend it lounging in the park, at the beach, etc.
Don’t give up. Keep on keeping on.
- Give it time.
- Swearing is a habit. Not swearing must become a habit also.
- If you fall off the wagon, just get back on.
- Have faith that you can do this!
Profanity, Cursing and Swearing
Do You Use Profanity?
Kids In Mind
- Kids-In-Mind: Movie ratings & parents' reviews that actually work
The definitive parents' guide to movies and video since 1992, Kids-In-Mind rates films according to how much sex, nudity, violence, gore and profanity they contain.
No Cussing Club for Kids!
The Christian and Profanity
Profanity is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and inconsistent with the word and will of God. It is ugly, abusive, unloving and disrespectful. Jesus said for us to treat people with respect and love others as ourselves.
The Bible contains scriptures that teach us the power of words.
- Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
- Matthew 12:36, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak."
- Colossians 3:8, "But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth."
- Luke 6:45, "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
- James 3:6, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell."
There are many more cautions from God recorded in the Bible. They were given to teach us how God wants us to live and to speak. Therefore, let us use words wisely, bridle our tongue and bring honor to our Creator and to ourselves.