Cursing is mainstream, overuse mars integrity


By Michael Santone, News Editor

Nowadays the use of profanity has become as common as hello and goodbye in everyday conversation.

We were taught that these taboo “curse words” were never to be spoken, whispered or even thought about or you’d be sent straight to hell — in a handbasket.

Well, metaphorically, that is.

Growing up, using these bad words was like living on the wild side.

They made the shortest person feel tall, and the weakest person feel strong.

Having to casually look over your shoulder for any sign of an authority figure before dropping a few A-holes and F-bombs was thrilling, of course, until you got caught.

In an instant, your entire life would flash before your eyes and a bar of Irish Spring soap was there to combat the blasphemy.

But this, the prohibition of profanity, was a part of the fun and excitement of saying “curse words.”

Even as adults, these delightfully shocking and vulgar figures of speech were a rarity among society.

These words, if spoken, would result in public crucifixion by peers and strangers.

It was their jarred glares, when words like “shit” were said, that stood them ready to hogtie you.

It wasn’t so long ago that even the slightest gasp of “bitch” would send those you were conversing with into anaphylactic shock.

Ultimately, this is what made “curse words” so great.

This is what turned these age-old expressions into little pieces of integrity that were once used to demonstrate a point.

Whether it was due to childhood trauma manifesting itself into an adult version of a zesty bar of soap, or just the pure adrenaline rush when using these words when it was necessary.

They were filled with meaning and soul.

But these words, which are now inescapable throughout society, have lost this meaning and integrity.

They just don’t mean what they used to.

These now overused and mundane “curse words,” which are expressed by almost everyone and used before and after every other word, have died.

These words have been overused by a society with no respect for dramatic effect.

You can’t set foot outside without being exposed to a barrage of has-been words, once the source of shock and awe, but which are now the center of popularity and laughter.

Even while out in public, the intensity only increases, as children scream “damn” and “ass” throughout the frozen food section of a local grocery store.

And they do this as their parents laugh and smile in encouragement, while bidding you a hearty good morning.

Or, during serious conversations, you are met with a guffaw after expressing how bad your day has been.

All meaning and integrity for these words have dissolved and it’s such a tragic loss to humanity.

But these “curse words” have done more than lose their meaning — they have lost their effect.

They have evolved into words of endearment and camaraderie.

Now, a derogatory term is a nickname given to besties. Other words of profanity are used in place of adjectives, verbs and nouns.

But this loss, as the prohibition of profanity dwindles away, has only created a future generation who will not know the true meaning and effect of these words.

We have fostered a generation that will never feel the excitement or understand the power they once held in conversation.

For the good ol’ days of “curse words,” the thrill is gone, and thoroughly obliterated to never return.

Michael Santone is a news editor of The Advocate. Contact him at [email protected]