In this late night, 2 am specifically, I have let my mind drift into the miscellaneous thoughts of the day. I don’t exactly know why my mind drifted into the direction of cuss words, but I think it might be because I think I’m losing my insensitivity for them. Since as long as I can remember I was one of the only people who didn’t cuss. I did it for religious reasons (we’ll get into that some other day) and because my parents instilled that there is no room for curse words in our family. As I’ve grown up I have just become accustomed to hearing cussing around me and not being bothered, most of the time not even really hearing the “bad” words. Lately though, I feel the sensitivity to these words is coming back. I don’t know if it’s this Texas sweater weather coming in (technically “cardigan weather” in today’s case) or the fact that the holidays are just around the corner…I’m really not sure. When my friends and acquaintances say the f,s,d,b,a, etc**** words, though I cringe a little.
I have come to think about the purpose of curse words and why we, as society feel the need to use them in every sentence in order to sound relevant to the said topic. I found that profane words release many psychological tension from the body such as anger or stating something is very important to a person, but why are people using the words in literally every sentence? Is there really any meaning to the words anymore?
So I begin to wonder the real reasons for the use of constant profanity in this period of time. I came up with two theories that I thought proved that consistency is key, even with profanity. One, Cussing is used to cover up the fact that the individual has lack of a better word. From being on a college campus, I always notice whether I am overhearing a conversation or being involved in one, college kids insert these words in as a way to emphasize what they are trying to say. A lot of the times it is something quite simple, like “this pizza is so f***ing good!” or “that d*** professor gave us a test on Monday, she’s such a b****.” There could easily be other words used instead, but I think it is the fun and simplicity people think comes from cussing. Really though, at least to me, it seems as though they can’t think of any other phrase or word to use, so they just stick to the ones they know. The fact is the words used for emphasis tend to lose its meaning if it is used too regularly. Therefore, instead I feel the saying “this pizza is so amazing, my mouth is watering just looking at it on my plate!” gives off more of a description of what you really think about the object. Being creative with your words not only stretches your brain, but also challenges it to be more creative and knowledgeable.
Secondly, I think another reason profanity is used so much in this day and age is because it comes second nature. Cussing is an impulse. They come as a form to fill up space in communicating. Just like using the words “like” and “umm” to fill up pauses, cussing has also become a “space filler.” You know the old phrase your mom and elementary teachers used to say “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” well I think the phrase is now “if you don’t have anything to say, add a cuss word. Okay, I know that was very corny and barely made sense, but on a more serious note, I feel society is trained to say cuss words if they run out of things to say or want so break up their sentences. I’m not at all saying I am the professional of profanity and these theories are just that, theories- merely propositions that are subject to experimentation, that said I could be completely wrong I just need someone to prove me wrong. To add on to this, I think right now at this point in time, profanity acts as an article of clothing that is a go-to for the fluctuating words that aren’t coming to the brain quick enough and so we contribute these words into our conversations, instead of the words we truly mean.
And now, as it is a 3 am, I guess I should stop thinking about cussing and go to bed.
*Comment below if you agree, disagree, or like this Stimu(LATE)ing post!*