Profanity, those word that were, and still in some circles, considered intolerable. When I was a kid, my father heard me utter the dreaded ‘F’ word and I was spanked. My mother, another time, heard me utter an unacceptable profanity and she washed my mouth out with soap. My grandfather used to say ‘…profanity is an attempt to make a big point by a small minded person.’ I find it funny that once, I heard my mother call our Ford Station Wagon a piece of (explative removed) as she was kicking the front tire after it had broken down once again. And I used to think my father was a rambling idiot when he got mad, because he would say under his breath when mad something like ‘son of a (grunt) the stupid idiotic (clear throat) I ought to (cough) that (clear throat)…’ I now know he wasn’t incoherently insane, but he was self censoring himself.
Now, I have an IQ of about 140 ( measured three seperate times at 139 in High School, 141 after three years of college and 140 after several years of marriage) and because of my parents early efforts with World Book Encyclopedias and a particular Cyclotron, I have a better than average knowledge of the english language. I find myself, sometimes more than I would like to admit, using these ‘lazy’ words when there are better choices. And sometimes, I use them on purpose because of my audience.
Recently, I read an article on how the brain can use profanity to lessen pain. There was even a segment on ‘Mythbusters’ on how pain can be lessened by the use of profanity. I think some people are trying to justify the increase in profane language.
You can not deny the increase in the use of profane language. Language that is considered profane was not tolerated in movies, books or society in the 1950’s as they are now. Language of a profane nature, today, can be seen in television, movies rated PG, books, periodicals, music and in the language bantied about on the streets across America.
The dictionary defines profanity as: b : the use of profane language
and defines profane as:
1 : to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrate
2 : to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use
which means that those that use profanity are literally desecrating the english language with vulgarity.
So is it that people are purposefully using profanity or is it that society is so under educated that the majority resort to its use? The bible tells us that what comes from the mouth first comes from the heart. These vulgar words are words of hate and ignorance and of the uneducated. If these words flow from your mouth, they first flow from the heart.
You are judged by the words you use and how they are used. If our society is to be taken seriously and we want to be viewed as educated, we must reverse the trend of the use of vulgar words. If we show the world that we have respect for our native language, we also show that we respect ourselves, our education and those around us.
The Thinking Tinker