Has obscene language become commonplace in conversations?


The use of obscene language has become commonplace among men in conversations. There was a time when frustration, fear, anger or passion will bring out a cuss-word, now profanity in a casual manner is frequently heard.

People use profanity for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons are that they think swearing makes them look more mature, impressive or respected in front of their peers.

Some individuals want to feel important and powerful in the presence of people, so they use obscene language flagrantly. The user of obscene language feels he has a licence to “cuss” based on who is present. That licence now gives them the freedom to be obscene in a nonchalant manner and repeatedly.

In modern times cursing is viewed as coping or venting and it can help one deal with stress. Curse words can help you more accurately communicate your emotions, which contradicts the folk belief that people use profanity because they lack vocabulary skills.

The “old school” of which I belong will proffer many sound reasons not to swear. Firstly, it shows poor judgment since you never know who is forming a negative and an unfavourable opinion of you. It indicates that you are inarticulate.

There are plenty of ways to indicate annoyance or edginess without resorting to swearing.

The use of obscene language has become such a normal part of certain people’s interaction with others that even when persons want to express joy or happiness they resort to “cuss-words.”

Some young men, who would have picked up the habit from older guys in the community resort to frequent usage of obscenities when their female friends are around, ill-advisedly to project a “big-man maturity.”

My grandmother will also say that the use of obscene language is unprofessional, it’s insulting and it’s deeply unpleasant. More importantly, it sets a poor example to young people.

Frequent and regular usage of obscene language is crass behaviour, which is rude and insensitive and shows no understanding of what is proper or acceptable.

Bad words are powerful —emotionally, physiologically, psychologically and socially.

Frequent profanity can indicate a lack of interpersonal skills and/or leadership qualities.

When profanity is spoken, your ability to problem solve may be questioned.

People may wonder if this is how you discuss topics, how can you lead negotiations? Can you mediate conflicts? Do you have the mental and emotional tools to be a team leader? People may question your ability to communicate effectively. Your background may be questioned. People may consider your educational experience lacking because of your word selection.

Others may ponder whether you learned to speak from involvement with disreputable individuals.

At the workplace the use of obscene language is excused with the statement that it is industrial language. I beg to disagree since humans are creatures of habit, engaging in obscene language at work could spill over into one’s personal life, so it’s a good reason to shy away from developing the behaviour.

There is no good reason to be subjected to obscene language in a group setting or otherwise. If your friend is the perpetrator of cuss-words let them know that you are uncomfortable with their cursing and not them as a whole.

Let them know that you lose interest in what they are saying once they start using these words. If it’s a stranger don’t stand or sit and take in the profanity, move away, show your disgust.


Point Fortin