Friday, June 18, 2010

WTF is wrong with cursing?

I've always been aware of the social unacceptability of the use of "foul" language, though admittedly I don't understand the particular purpose of this social norm.  The idea that there is a subset of words in almost every language that are considered "dirty", "foul", "naughty", or just plain "bad", is pretty staggering.

Why these words?  Why shit instead of poop?  Why fuck instead of freak?  Why piss instead of pee?

The words are picked with seemingly no logic thought.  Its like someone was just spinning the Wooden Wheel of Words and landed on these and said to himself/herself "Yeah I think fuck looks like a bad word."

As children we learn fundamental life lessons that help us to further our species as a whole but, where does "foul" language come into play?  Don't fight...everyone feels pain.  Don't yell in the house...loud noises are physiologically damaging as well.  Don't run in the house...children don't have a fully developed sense of balance and so this ties back in with the fact that everyone feels pain.

And then there's the foul language.  Do these particular words, whether vocalized or written, cause any actual physiological harm to anyone?  Nope!  Does the exclusion of these words help our species to evolve in any way?  Nope!

In fact, by limiting our vocabulary we limit our capacity for thought (thanks Mr. Carlin).  We think in words and if we limit the range of those words simply because society has decided that they're naughty, then we've limited our ability to express a thought in the most effective way.

But those words are offensive you say?  Why are they offensive?  I'll tell you why, because you were raised to believe that specific idea.  If society wasn't offended by these particular type of words then neither would you.  Simple isn't it?

Here's another thing to think about...we can't even agree on what words in our own English language should be considered bad.  Did your mom smack you when you said piss?  Mine didn't...but I bet there are more then a few of you nodding your heads out there.  How about damn?  Yeah that's ones okay for me too.  Unless it's used in conjunction with a certain other word and honestly I don't see how that one breaks the rules...I mean I really do want God to damn that bad driver in front of me.

So lets expand our fucking vocabulary and along with it our minds, and knock this bullshit idea of "bad" words.  Its not the words that are bad...its the intent of the person using those words and you know what...Fuck them!


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with you at all. There are words that are offensive and "foul." I think that people actually limit their vocabulary by using the same word to describe multiple actions. And maybe offensive is not as good a word as appropriate. It's like innuendo in front of kids - yes it's human nature, but it's not something to expose them to. So it's the same with foul language. Fine - if you like it, good for you, but dont' think that everyone else likes it and force them to accept it becoming the norm.

The Bear Monk said...

Wow...this is an old one. I think you've got a point when you say there are words that are more appropriate than others, or at least that are appropriate given a certain set of circumstances. However, as thoughtful adults, isn't it almost our duty challenge our societies excepted habits to expand horizons? I understand that not everyone has the same understanding as I do of course and wouldn't expect everyone to accept or practice my chosen habit. I do, however, expect people to think about the words that they consider bad. Appreciate your comment.