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Offensive Language

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Offensive Language

Throughout the day, I find myself exposed to harsh language. Whether in at work or walking through the hallways at school, it is all around us. Later, as I accelerate through rush-hour traffic, I discover that I use these words as well, lashing out with blunt verbal terms in the safety of my enclosed vehicle. I have used bad language before, but I do use it often. I have friends that cuss every other word. However, I do not care for it much. It is not so much offensive, just bothersome. Whether your daily vocabulary consists of several cuss words or it is just the occasional "shit" in a fit of anger or pain, everyone is guilty of it. Who hasn't accidentally let a word slip when they slam their finger in a door or stub their toe on the coffee table? Is this impressive, of course not. There used to be a day that when you said "shit" in public, it was like exploding a bomb in public; people would fall silent, staring at you with half-angry open mouths. Mothers would clap their hands over their children's ears and push them away from you; desperately trying to keep their kids form such language. But today, we've fallen. Sure there are still a few people that cringe at the sound of vulgar language, but not many. In the 1970's, George Carlin delivered a monologue citing seven words that you could never say on network television. Now, these words are being used regularly on network television. You could say that swear words have lost their impact, or, you could argue that our language has become downright coarse, offensive, and rude.

Where do Cuss words come from, and what do they really mean? Originally it began as cursing. These are the words and phrases that you say in order to curse someone. It was some sort of supernatural or magical belief. Nowadays, people know that telling someone to "Go to Hell" will not actually curse them there, no matter how angrily it is said. The evolution of profanity continues to change with each generation. Some cuss words have somehow maintained their original meanings throughout hundreds of years, while many others have completely changed meaning or simply fallen out of use. The meaning behind a word is what makes it acceptable or unacceptable. Veterinarians use the word "bitch" on a regular basis, and think nothing of it. The meaning of the word is female dog. It is a fine word to use in that profession, or for anyone else who is honestly referring to a female dog. People have taken that word and distorted its meaning, making it derogatory. When used in that manner it is not acceptable because it is degrading another person. Look at the word hell. You can sit in church on Sunday morning and hear your preacher say it. Hell is very real. It is a place of everlasting punishment and fiery torment. On the other hand, I have heard many people use this word in such a way that it appears to hold no meaning at all. When people say "What the Hell" or " Where in the Hell" what is that statement supposed to mean? It really doesn't make much sense. Bad language has evolved over many thousands of years to represent both the lowest and highest forms of human expression. Such words can cause the greatest offence if used casually and repeatedly, at an inappropriate time or place, or in the wrong company. Yet often, a well timed swear word can make people laugh. Even something as simple as the type of voice a person has can affect how the word is received. It seems that the reason most people are offended by certain words is simply that they have been conditioned that way. They were taught that the words were "bad words" and so they believe them to be bad words.

I have a friend that I am always telling to stop cussing so much. She tried to tell me that her cussing was an art form that she uses to express herself or a message. I heard someone once say that if you have to cuss to get a message across then you message isn't worth getting



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