Profanity and Positivity


Jessica Son, Staff Writer

It seems like everywhere you turn on campus, in every conversation, you are surrounded by people who curse. Around West Ranch, wherever you go people are dropping “F-bombs” and calling each other “witch-with-a-B.” However, this can make other students feel very uncomfortable. They can be intimidated with all of the swearing that surrounds them and makes them feel unsafe or unwelcome.

  When people curse, especially students in our own campus, other people can be uncomfortable, especially if they themselves don’t swear. Using words associated with a negative connotation in our childhood has a bigger effect than some nicer terms that mean the same thing. All of these curse words are very unpleasant to hear around campus, and with such a negative atmosphere swearing creates, it is inevitable that most students feel unwelcome or intimidated.

  However, swearing could also have the complete opposite reaction and make students too comfortable. Many people become desensitized to cursing as they get used to harsh language on campus. According to Harvard professor Steven Pinker, when bad words are overused, the word switches from taboo to normal and doesn’t have the same impact. As a child, it was such a shock whenever someone said words like “shut up” or “stupid.” Now, students everywhere are swearing, so that shock that made cursing seem so bad before isn’t associated with swearing anymore. It suddenly becomes part of daily life, and cursing is just something that everyone does. As more and more people use profanity, it spreads almost like a disease, until in every sentence, there’s a curse word.

  Cursing is really so unnecessary. There are so many other, more beautiful expressions and words to use, so why do people curse? People tend to use bad words as they start getting used to an environment with cursing. This creates a chain reaction, and students use bad words wherever they go, no matter who is present and no matter who is listening. Basically, people begin to curse because everyone else does.

  But why is using profanity bad? They’re just words. They don’t hurt anyone. However, words have power. As the use of profanity increases, people become used to the negative atmosphere this facilitates. When we are at school, people are already stressed and anxious. If harsh language surrounds them, they fall into a habit of repeating swear words they hear on campus. It’s not exactly uplifting to hear these words in every conversation or even hear it come out of your own mouth. There is really no positive thing that can come out from the use of swear words, and it just makes students more prone to negativity and unhappiness.

  The goal of this story is not to censor anyone. While some may not agree with the use of language with a negative undertone, people are free to say whatever they want. Everyone has at least one friend that curses, and at the end of the day, the type of words and vocabulary they choose to use is their choice. The goal of the story is to encourage people to use more beautiful terms instead of harsh language that intimidates people. The goal is to also reach out to those who are intimidated by people cursing, the people who are not comfortable being surrounded by profanity.

  Not many people know the other side of the story. Many don’t seem to realize that some students are genuinely uncomfortable with this type of language and vocabulary. While being accustomed to harsh language is a part of growing up, that’s no reason to facilitate the use of harsh language in a place where students are supposed to feel safe.