Swearing – Is it Necessary?


There are between 470,000 – 1,005,366 words in the English language, depending on which resource you look at. So why do people feel it’s necessary to use one swear word for every five words spoken?

During a recent visit to the store, a woman in line next to me was speaking with an excessive amount of profanity. As she continued on for several minutes, I couldn’t help but think how immature she sounded. One f-bomb per ever five words spoken, if not every three. Is her vocabulary limited that much?

Aren’t we taught to be considerate of others who may be within earshot? What if a child is present, or even an every day Joe who is repulsed by such language? Not everyone is raised to believe that speaking in such a way is acceptable. On the contrary, most are taught that those words are bad and should be spoken by adults only, which in itself is ridiculous. If words are unfit for a child to say, then wouldn’t it make more sense if they were never said regardless of age?

Furthermore, how can we teach our children not to say or do something when we ourselves are doing it? We are supposed to set a good example for our children. We should behave in the way that we expect them to behave and be who we want them to become.

I realize that there are people who see no harm in cursing around their children, nor do they see any harm in their children following suit. They’re just words, after all. But just because you may teach your children that it’s okay by setting that example for them, does not mean than everyone else does.

Many people also claim that these words help them to better express their feelings and make a greater impact. However, I disagree. There are plenty of words that can be used to express feelings much better than profanity – words that actually have depth.

As far as impact goes, I for one stop listening if a person chooses to use foul language as their primary form of communication. After the first few expletives, their speech begins to sound like nothing but nonsense and an attempt to fill space. In fact, that’s exactly what an expletive is: a syllable, word, or phrase inserted to fill a vacancy.

If you want people to truly listen, then speak with real words that have real definitions. Most of all, speak with respect; not only out of respect for the person you’re speaking to, but also for yourself. Our level of respect is shown by the words we use.

While growing up, I was taught to be considerate of others and to treat others with the same respect as I expected for myself. Sadly, this concept has slowly faded away, along with many of the other morals and values that children were once taught.

I wonder if people realize what they are doing to future generations…

Our failure to teach right from wrong has consequences – which unfortunately we are already seeing.

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21 Responses to Swearing – Is it Necessary?

  1. joyroses13 says:

    Totally agree with this!! Good job!


  2. Amen! Our words are so important. They really matter, they set the tone, they define who we are. We’re doing a real injustice to ourselves and to others with our tolerance for foul language.


  3. George says:

    Amen to that…great post.


  4. DailyMusings says:

    oh I couldn’t agree more!!


  5. joey says:

    I don’t share your viewpoint, but I respect it. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am a genuine advocate of the rich and varied vocabulary our language has to offer but know too that swear words are part of that richness. Swear words are after all…..just words. The manner in which they are used can be telling of course – a well crafted piece of comedy or a story told can be enlivened by the use of colourful language. When used in anger it is perhaps less attractive but even then often the user will be expressing themselves through….just words. And I am not a fan of insulating children from swearing. It is common parlance – like it or not. Explain to children what the words mean, offer alternatives to educate. They will hear bad language in the street, at school…..everywhere. Embrace it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you, Adrian, for your input. You are right that they are just words and have become a part of our varied vocabulary. But with so many other words to choose from why choose one (s) that is commonly thought to be inconsiderate and unnecessary? Perhaps these words can enliven a conversation, but are they really needed? I’d be willing to bet that no one would notice if that type of language was not used (unless they were purposely looking for a family film, of course). I listen to a great deal of comedy in which not a single foul word is used and still practically roll on the floor with laughter. For many, like myself, that language is completely unnecessary and I don’t think we are doing our children any favors by introducing them to or promoting such language. Instead, we are limiting their vocabulary. They should enrich their vocabulary with words that have depth. You’re correct – it is everywhere, but that doesn’t make it right.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Enrichment is indeed the goal. Encouraging proper and considered use of language amongst children is a good thing. Educating them in language requires examination of all facets, peculiarities.


  7. I have to admit, I’m a cusser. Not in public or around kids. Usually alone, or with friends who are like minded and we are just cutting loose. Your post has strong points I agree with.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think it is a misappropriation to regard specific words as problematic. I tell my kids “there are no bad words, just bad ways to use words”. The woman who was cussing in your anecdote was using words in a bad way. It doesn’t matter so much what the words are; she could have been using non-swear words in the same tone and manner and been equally as offensive. Likewise, cuss words have very specific meanings that can be used appropriately. For example, in a spoken word poem, a cuss word might have a very specific place, meaning, and effect that could not be achieved with a different word choice. I agree with you that often people are lazy and could be more descriptive or accurate, but that falls into the category of using words badly, not a “bad word”.


    • mewhoami says:

      I appreciate your viewpoint on this topic. Even though in my opinion specific words are nasty no matter how they are used, I do understand your point. When used appropriately, words do not sound nearly as offensive as when they are used out of anger or in complete disregard of their surroundings. I have noticed though, that with these types of words, many people don’t know how to use them appropriately so they use them for everything and often in ways that don’t even make sense. In summary, although I still firmly believe that there is really no need for this type of language, I do understand your viewpoint and I thank you for sharing it.

      Liked by 1 person

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