The Sweet Candy Delight of "Cuss Words"I love cuss words.
I just can't help myself. My love affair began with them in elementary school around third grade, or so. The other boys in my class would whisper words from the less savory alleys of the English language right into each other's ears. The dirtier the word, the more respect you earned because there was always a risk the other person would tell on you.
If that happened, you could conceivably lie your way out of the situation, but one, you would lose the respect points you earned for cussing in the first place, and two, I think we knew instinctively our lies should be saved up for better things like impressing women.
As a young lad, I wielded cuss words carefully like a jedi padawan carrying his first lightsaber. At first, I would only say 'hell', 'ass', or 'damn' because in certain cases those words are not even considered real cuss words.
Much to my delight, these words were even in the King James version of the Bible. Because of this, I felt like I had an iron clad defense if I was ever caught. Surely no one would argue with the Bible.
Perry Mason would be so proud of me.
The Counter Argument
My Grandma always used to say that using swear words to express yourself was the sign of a small mind. That statement sounds ironclad at first, but I thought it was baloney even then. I did!
|Potty Mouthed Mark Twain|
Maybe, it's because I occasionally overheard my Grandma cussing herself. Also, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't call Mark Twain a small minded person who lacked the ability to express himself. And, what about modern comedic geniuses like John Cleese, and Steve Martin, who pepper obscenities throughout their comedy routines all the while seeming quite expressive and intelligent?
Take that, Grandma!
Next, is the moral argument. People say we shouldn't cuss because it is morally wrong. Forgive me, but that also is silly. For one, I'm pretty sure none of these words were around when the Ten Commandments, or any of the Bible was written.
These words have benign origins with meanings like female dog, Richard, donkey, a pair of birds, or child of unmarried parents. Certainly, these terms are not how you would wish someone to describe you, but morally wrong? No.
Try again haters.
I think the real issue is cultural and perhaps even financial. Despite a lack of any real evil contained within their letter structure, these words are considered taboo and harsh by society. People tend to judge you when you swear. If you're on the radio, they'll charge you a lot of money to say those words. Plus, the program in question might lose sponsors because swearing doesn't fit the wholesome image they are trying to create for their product.
In this sense, cussing is a lot like showing up to a five star restaurant shirtless, and wearing flip flops.
The Good Side of @%#$!
What about the benefits of cursing? Some of you didn't even know there were benefits did you?
Studies by really smart people have shown cussing to lower stress and increase endurance to pain. Basically, they got people to submerge their hands in ice water, and the cussing people were able to withstand the pain significantly longer. There's more to it than that, but I'm sure you get the picture.
Also, swearing can be a great tool for comedy. This is my favorite use of these words, and the real reason I'm writing to champion them now. Sometimes nothing else will cap off a punchline like a good cussword.
Cursing has really taken a bad rap, which is unfair because it's helped us out a lot. Maybe we should cut these words some slack. Because, they're just words. They only have as much power as we give them. I understand people really enjoy being offended and acting self righteous, but these words would quickly lose their zing if we stopped giving them so much power over us.
Then again, would I even still enjoy these words so much if they were no longer a bit naughty?
Thanks for reading, Scofflaws!