Dictionary.com

Bleep! What’s the difference between cussing, swearing, and cursing?

U2 singer Bono infamously uttered what many consider the “worst” swear word in the English language during the 2003 Golden Globes. The U.S. government, through the FCC, responded with what they called the fleeting expletive policy, which stated that broadcasters could be fined for allowing even a single curse word on live television.

But on Tuesday, a federal appeals court in New York concluded that the rule was unconstitutionally vague and tossed it out.

It’s probably safe to assume that as long as humans have been speaking, we’ve been cussin’ and cursin’. What can the connection between “curse,” “swear,” “cuss” and “profanity” tell us about all the words we aren’t supposed to say, yet say with great frequency?

Placing a curse obviously isn’t the same as uttering curse words, but both concepts start with the Christian Church. Originally, the sense of curse as “the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc.” wasn’t so different from using profanity, which in an early sense is speech directed against God. In earlier times, a word against a God could be seen as a wish of misfortune on others, and perhaps wishing harm on other people could be seen as belittling the faith in the divine.

Cuss is simply an American alteration of curse, and its meaning “to say bad words” was first recorded in 1815.

How does swear come to simultaneously mean “to bind oneself by oath,” and “to use profane oaths or language”? The earliest swear words were identical to curse words — taking the Christian God’s name in vain, or speaking of acts that were considered sinful.

While there is a general consensus about what some adult words are — such as the f-bomb dropped by the U2 singer — others are up for debate. One of the judges in the FCC ruling addressed this point, writing that some expressions, such as “pissed off” or “kiss my a**,” were not universally agreed-upon profanities. A good rule of thumb: if you’re not sure if a word is an expletive, look it up in a dictionary (or on a dictionary Web site.)

332 Comments

  1. Cindy -  December 24, 2013 - 5:16 pm

    To me the difference between cussing and putting a curse is when you curse it is liberating and a form of letting out your frustration you normally say what you have to say and forget about it. Such as a middle finger when driving in traffic.
    However. when you want to place a curse on someone you speak evil words that are not cuss words over the person and it includes a form of stalking and harassing usually it is to the person destruction mentally , psychologically and physically so that the speaker or encourager of the speakers gain something usually it is monetarily or they have a personal vendetta against the person and want everyone else to join in.

    Reply
  2. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  November 26, 2013 - 4:09 am

    Don’t do any of them. That’s all I say. Putting a couple letters with asterisks (these things: *) also counts. If you have get your feelings out that way, use:
    >frinked off “That show really frinks me off.”
    >racdrops “Racdrops! I banged my knee on the table again!”
    >sprink “Sprink on him, anyway!”
    They sound “bad” but they don’t actually mean anything.

    Reply
  3. d troxell -  October 16, 2013 - 2:53 pm

    Apparently you haven’t read the bible. the bible contains the truth as it is.
    It says in Matthew that if you curse you are in danger of hell fire.
    If you believe in the bible, God, and the truth, you will find it there.

    Reply
  4. Syd -  August 5, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    I know many people that are religious think it is a sin to say a cuss, but in my opinion,it isn’t really like you’d be doing something evil to say a word.Sure, as much as I dislike these words, I don’t find them sinful.
    A weapon as a sword or a claw can cut through our skin, but a word can cut through a heart.
    For goodness sakes, I’ve had my own father swear to my face! >:(

    Reply
  5. Jessie Swaffer -  July 19, 2013 - 6:30 am

    Cursing is the weak mind’s feeble attempt at expressing itself.

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  6. Leonard Simek -  June 3, 2013 - 11:15 am

    Profanity can be considered cussing which is a form of low english or undesireable speech. Not at all comely and is usually careless talk which bleeds over to something more serious.

    Swear binds the user to a proclamation as if to do something,,,,like I swear Ill never to that again but

    Cursing is the worst which implies ill will or malice afore thought on someone or some group. God cursed Satan in the Garden of Eden. Can be directed at individuals, spirits, groups or nations depending on their behavior or moral standards.

    Reply
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  8. Dennis Menace -  February 22, 2013 - 9:44 am

    I say curse words and regular words are the same. Until someone can tell me the different my mind is made up. Don’t no one know the different so they are the same. Also our dictionary is not American we are using somwhere language

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  9. Ex Atheist -  January 16, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    Repetition is one of the first steps of brainwashing. Words are powerful and can change people like their moods. If someone says F*** you mother, I think some people would take that seriously. Only an arrogant atheist would say words are just words and can’t harm anyone. I’m pretty sure some school shootings were linked to some type of name calling or something verbally. I guess words can’t harm anyone huh.

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  10. jc -  June 2, 2012 - 6:32 pm

    George Carlin has been cited a couple times in this debate, but I think what was missed is what he said about his famous 7 words. Not only did he make fun of the ridiculous FCC and break each word down to show the absurdity of them being bad, but he also struck at the heart of the concept. “There are no bad words” he said, “only bad thoughts and actions.”.

    People can be extremely hurtful and mean using perfectly acceptable language. There are countless examples if that. I’m not sure of the validity of thus statement but I heard a saying once that the Bible has several examples of sex, murder, betrayal, and violence while Hitler’s writting had none of these. Even if the speaker has no intent to injure, someone may be offended or hurt by what is said. The words alone are not the cause.

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  11. Fatima -  March 14, 2012 - 10:55 pm

    Having that said about how expletive ;bad (swearing) words can b like…
    Howeva it depends on the harm, hate etc. Its used upon other words, with expressions
    I believe that if it creates either a positive impact, way or style or the way itz used or even how itz ongoin, frequent, constant etc. That it should b stopped Cuz we can just use in every or most aspects of our lives….basically it showz intolerance, unacceptance n ignorance as well…to point Mouton the other hand itz about how itz used whether to provoke someone or tell a story 2 sum1…wateva 1 says but as long as itz used in a respectful manner creating this good atmospheric feeling n environment :)

    Reply
  12. Mandi -  January 22, 2012 - 12:11 pm

    It seems…all these people commenting must really care about words to spend so much time out of their short lives to read this, as many apparently were compelled to. I won’t bother to add much of my view to this exhaustive study on the subject, but I will thank (pastor) Brian, Daniel, and a few others I hope will forgive my forbearance to scan the above comments again for their names. Love is the point – putting others above ourselves. Now, let’s get out there and discover the answers to the greater questions in life, so that we may know how then should we live.

    Reply
  13. Jenna -  January 21, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    Although I may be bound to cuss, I do understand how deeply it can affect others. As I say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will really hurt me.” Wish that was the version they taught kids instead. :/

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  14. Love wins -  January 21, 2012 - 8:03 am

    I just feel so truly bad for those of you who feel the way you speak has no bearing on others– or that you simply don’t care. We are supposed to be one nation under the one true loving God.. sadly so many people would rather live worldly lives, think they are ‘cool’ and funny here on Earth than to live the right way. Only speak for the uplifting of others… be at peace with all those around you… be slow to anger and quick to forgive… and for goodness sakes stop polluting the mind of youth with all of this vulgar garbage… Is this the recipe for success in life?? No. America is losing its faith… Its hard to see.

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  15. Lynn Fox -  January 21, 2012 - 7:49 am

    “”Silver Fang on July 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I say all those words all the time because, quite frankly, who cares? Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.

    Besides, the designation of what is profane changes from decade to decade. One-hundred years ago, saying “gol ding it all” was as bad as saying, “Damn it all”. Nowadays, no one cares if you say “ding”, “darn” or “damn”.

    Hopefully, in another 50 years, we’ll be able to drop f bombs as well.”"

    It is unfortunately ‘minds’ like this that

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  16. Can't Understand Normal Thinking -  January 21, 2012 - 12:46 am

    It is due to social programming that words obtain their meaning, whether smiled or frowned upon. I suppose if one were to connote the phrase “banana soup” to, let’s say, a perverse action and the phrase happens to catch on (as have text speak and the likes), then “banana soup” would thus become an inappropriate term. Old habits die-hard. Most profane words has to do with either blasphemy or taboo activities, such as sex, in which were topics that was frowned upon by the church (who was basically the government) in efforts to maintain civility. But as you can see the lines are becoming blurred. I wouldn’t be surprised if the f-bomb becomes just as insignificant has hell in the ensuing years. My only question is when and where will we draw the line to preserve societal civility.

    Side Note: In relationship to the A-Bomb and H-Bomb, what is the F-Bomb? With the A & H bombs causing so much destruction during and after the World Wars, what damage could the F-bomb possibly do?

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  17. Anon -  January 20, 2012 - 6:57 pm

    I am not completely for or against swearing, like so many are in the discussion. Another article, about swearing toddlers, concluded by saying that strong language can prove a point. I like this outlook.

    I DO avoid it in excess. I know that using it all the time can’t be helpful, as my point would just be lost in the repetition, making me appear less intelligent than I am. Not to mention that others may be hurt in the process, and rightfully so, because hardly anyone is secure enough to separate themselves completely from the opinions of others, nor should anyone expect them to be.

    Having said that, there are times when a swear word says it better than anything else. I do not condemn that.

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  18. Alex -  January 20, 2012 - 3:28 pm

    Words can cause emotional pain… it’s just that they shouldn’t necessarily. That’s my view on it, anyhow.

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  19. Balletlover -  January 19, 2012 - 8:50 pm

    I really don’t think the f word is the worst word – it’s when someone uses the b word

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  20. Elise E. -  January 19, 2012 - 12:56 pm

    @ Silver Fang- I absotutly disagree. The Bible says the tongue is the most powerful weapon. Words are very powerful, and more than “just words.”

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  21. Joe -  December 14, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    I think swearing is also FOUNDED to be derogatory or “bad” because it used to be “divine truth.” As in: someone might swear or have a stimulated, thrilled attitude that means “I know what I am saying and I stand by it… it’s horrifying and how could you?” Or like a dog growling. Notice God is spelt dog backwards and how there are so many rules from God, especially or, by clever incognito: swearing.(clever incognito meaning people don’t care and it’s normal, but very important still)

    I love my family and parents, but they seemed to notice my attitude the same as swearing. So when I KNEW something was wrong with mom or dad, it was especially mom that would somehow react that made me feel as though my whole attitude is a curse word, but I was really making a stand (like you said “stan” in Afghanistan or Pakistan, means “where I stand.”)… which lol… could also mean they are the only countries really standing up for “everyday love” as you also said Mr. or I’d say no Mr. Valentine made for people. He might as well been a King who took away love everyday. Can any sociologist or scientist actually PROVE HOW everyday love is gone but for Valentine’s Day?

    I don’t think swearing is wrong, but for anyone proud of it and wants to know more, they should take the time and “clever inognito”: patience to notice exactly WHAT (hypotenuse? as heard in the new movie Immortals) exactly is swearing.

    If you notice, a person WHO NORMALLY/regularly doesn’t care about etiquette or acting polite (showing no character), is seen as a questionable person. TOday I was at the mall and a BEAUTIFUL guitar/band instrumental of O Holy Night was playing and I decided to stand around and air guitar it. Imagine so many peopel who are too shy and bashful (as I still am in many ways on inside around people) to do that and how awkward and weird it is for someone like me who isn’t rocking out, but just standing there idly just air-strumming guitar. Maybe it’s a good thing i didn’t have the gall to wave my head around and step a bit… and I had to wonder: what if I didn’t worry so much about my character? Wouldn’t that moment hearing such a great take on O Holy Night and walking past it feel so much more epic than standing around to OWN IT ALL? I think so, honestly… :/ I need to hurry up and get “in tune” I just like “back-pocket features or characteristics… but I need to have fun.”

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  22. curtis -  December 11, 2011 - 6:06 pm

    this conversation is interesting and all but what IS the difference between curse words and swear words?

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  23. jeffrey -  November 2, 2011 - 4:53 pm

    It’s really a very silly concept in this day and age . . . I am currently going to court for disorderly conduct for calling a police officer :fing pathetic: for pulling over two little old lady’s on a sunday afternoon . . (doesn’t matter if the cop was right or wrong for giving them the ticket) the point is that he stoped wrighting the ticket mid way and got out of his car and arrested me for it . . . /. The whole idea that someone can or cannot say a word is as silly as it gets . . . . as i am fully intending on useing colorfull medifores inside the courtroom to further prove my point to that cop and judge . . . The fact that this can happen ion the first place over something as silly as words . . .. rediculous . . .

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    • Declan James Bateson -  September 16, 2014 - 9:17 pm

      Swearing is very rude bit like rude words.
      Bad words.

      Reply
  24. Jason -  September 21, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    The difference in the meanings of cuss curse and swear is this….
    to curse with your mouth is to for example speak to people and say lets reject so and so or to say to people this good person who wants to save you don’t listen to him, that would be an attack not on the good person but on a person who was listening, a curse is where you speak out to harm someone for example if you speak to someone and say kill a guy for me the guy who gets killed got cursed, one can curse with actions, if one stabbed someone they cursed that someone, CUSS thats where you speak a word of wish, it’s where you wish someone cursed, if someone said boy f this man up and they do it becomes a curse and not a cuss. Swearing, swearing is an oath where if you tell a lie you plan to curse the person or thing you swore by, but if you don’t tell the truth you can also not curse them, if you have spoken against someone you can denounce it, for example with the bible as the man here reffered to it says those who are not for me are against me and those who are for me are not against me, so if you have come against someone denounce it and that curse will be lifted.

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  25. Grapefruit -  August 23, 2011 - 9:11 am

    One more thing. For those who are leaving scripture quotes or saying “read your bible people!!!”, just know that not everyone has to believe in that, and not everyone will or does. You telling them to is not very likely to influence them. Your religion/beliefs/moral/whatever is yours, and other people have theirs, and you can’t change that.

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  26. Grapefruit -  August 23, 2011 - 8:54 am

    Very interesting. I try to avoid all of the above because, in contradiction to what Silver Fang said, I believe that words can really harm people. (How many people have taken their own lives because of verbal bullying?)

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  27. Francis -  April 14, 2011 - 1:53 pm

    How do you get italics while leaving a comment!Ugh

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  28. Francis -  April 14, 2011 - 1:46 pm

    To rename the popular poem. Sticks and stones may break my bones but _names_ can never har me. Also you should be moderate in all things including moderation.

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  29. Josh -  March 29, 2011 - 8:39 pm

    Words do have the power to harm people, swear words or not. Take a look at the Bible for example. The words written in that book have caused more wars than any others. It is no exception of course to other ‘holy’ scriptures the Quran, whatever it may be. It is not the words themselves that cause this though. It is the ideas behind them and the ideas instilled within the minds of the people who interpret them.

    Take a look at the Crusades all done in the name of something muttered in a ‘holy’ text. It would be difficult to argue that much good came from the deaths that resulted from that, all in the name of interpreted words.

    “It is the ideas behind them and the ideas instilled within the minds of the people who interpret them.”

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  30. Rose -  March 29, 2011 - 7:26 am

    Words have a MASSIVE impact on how we view things, and they can be a sharp as daggers, or as sweet as honey when we want them to be. Paul makes many references to swearing and using curse words. James goes into how powerful the tongue can be. If one were to go by their teachings, the/she will quickly see that they don’t think words are “just words”. I can’t exactly see Jesus dropping the F-bomb in the middle of a sermon either.

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  31. K.M Berry -  March 29, 2011 - 5:48 am

    To the contrary of misguided opinions, *WORDS* have in fact caused injuries. Think about it. Have you ever witnessed someone get the S*word knocked out of them because of something they have said? Everything from Fist-fights to battles and Wars have been ignited by words and fueled by action. *Them fightin’ words*- sound familiar? People have SAID things over the course of History and wound up D.E.A.D.

    Words give meaning to action. Words give birth/rise to action and in many cases words can cause death/cease to an action.

    At their most powerful, Words are a communicable expression of the Heart & Mind that can lead to build or destroy a People/Nation/Way of Life.

    Words: Inspire, Hurt, Teach, Heal, Direct, Mislead, Reveal, Convey meaning etc…

    May The Lord Bless you, your Family and Keep you safe from harm.

    http://www.bible.cc
    1 Corinthians 13
    John 14:6

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  32. A. Ron Amos -  March 9, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    So many say that words can never hurt. Have none of you gone through middle school or high school? One bad word in the right situation, a single glare from the wrong person, a solitary word against you by a clique, a miniscule rumor spread by three or four people can ruin a reputation that took months to build up. Politics, how we choose our leaders, are won by words. Our culture, our human integrity and what brings us above that of the minds of animals (other than building fire) is our ability to communicate and organize so utterly and exactly. Words have a lot of power, whether we like to admit it or not.

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  33. Noen N. Particular -  March 2, 2011 - 7:34 pm

    @ Rebekah on Feb 20 2011

    Amen to that! Also, a good Bible passage for this subject matter would be James 3:5-11:
    “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?”

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  34. ESIR -  February 26, 2011 - 12:02 am

    My favorite word would be atchoo

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  35. Binary00111 -  February 22, 2011 - 8:40 am

    While I agree that some swears (i.e., F-bomb, Bi-word, S-word) should be bleeped out on television and avoided in front of children, part of me says “well, swearing is a good way to release anger, without, say, smashing something.” This leaves me with the following points: 1. Swearing is Okay, but should be avoided around children. 2. Can we really count crap as a swear word? its better then the S-word.

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  36. Rebekah -  February 20, 2011 - 10:13 pm

    Alright. I have many things I want to say about this, but I’ll make this a short as possible. The first thing I want to get to is “Words are just words.” So the phrase, “I love you.” doesn’t give you butterflies? When you are listening to a doctor say, “She’s gone.” it doesn’t make you want to fall into nothing-ness? When you hear, “Great job!” from a team member, you don’t feel proud? When you hear, “Nice move, Einstien!” you don’t want to crawl under a rock? Profanity just makes degrating matters so much more worse. Try telling a verbally bullied kid that words are just words right before he commits suicide. Yeah, that’s what I thought. My second issue is to all those non-believers on here firing off about how the Bible is just a bunch of hooey and how you curse all the time and it doesn’t matter, being that you do curse on a daily basis and that there is no God to care or forgive. If your would just look at your life right now and compare it to a follower of God’s, you would sure want to pick up a Bible at your local bookstore. All you non-believers who don’t care about cussing, please remember these words from a tombstone. “Here lies an athiest, all dressed up and nowhere to go.” Amen to that, and goodnight to ya’ll. (And good-bye to cussing for some people on here, hopefully.)

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  37. James -  February 13, 2011 - 4:08 pm

    What’s so bad abut curse words?
    So far, humans have been using curse words to express their feelings just like how we use every other word.
    The only reason why we don’t like curse words is because of the fact that it is one, which is like being racist. “I hate you because you’re this race” is the same thing as “I won’t use this word because it’s this word.”
    Why can’t we just accept it into the English dictionary so that it won’t be a curse word anymore.
    If you really want to get rid of curse words, then don’t shun curses

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  38. Delilah -  February 9, 2011 - 2:39 pm

    Hopefully, everyone will just drop the whole cussing thing once and for all. People think that, and I quote, “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”
    However, that is not the case. Many people are extremely offended by profanity. Profanity is not considered classy or appropriate. Try not cuss every few sentences and see the reaction you will get. . .
    As for the people that do not cuss, i applaud you and your ability to resist the temptation of cussing!

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  39. Lottipop -  February 9, 2011 - 11:25 am

    I hope soon people won’t say those words at all. Some people say no one cares, but they can really offend people. Maybe some day people will be more sensitive toward other people’s religions and beliefs.

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  40. urethrafranklin -  February 5, 2011 - 3:10 pm

    “AND I SWEAR …..”-boyz 2 men, ABC, BBD (the east coast family!)

    ….yours truly….a retired cunning linguist.

    Reply
  41. Joseph L -  January 31, 2011 - 10:45 am

    One final thought before I sign off….or is it nod off??????
    When dealing with words, “IT’S CONTEXT,CONTEXT,CONTEXT! Nothing more, nothing less.

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  42. Joseph L -  January 31, 2011 - 10:19 am

    Words….Words….Words…. We make them what we want them to be!
    Acronyms are curious…… the BIG F bomb out of olde english!!!!! “fornication under consent of King”?????… or US version via (J. Edgar Hoover.)……” file under carnal knowledge” (for perverts) and the terrible C*—-, supposedly translates to,”can’t understand normal thinking” …… Dare I say, “hate mail will come forth from this posting” !!!
    Me thinks it shall be so!………………….. a retired literature teacher.

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  43. DavidLee -  January 30, 2011 - 6:28 pm

    Confucius say (by using words), “He who naively believe words, no harm will they do” ……. soon findeth thyself in prostrate position upon sidewalk, eyeballs a bleedeth, & toenails a rippeth off via Vice-Gripens, resulteth from wrong words usage in baddeth part of village.

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  44. Logical Bastard Child -  January 30, 2011 - 5:14 pm

    My lord lol as Silly humans said curse words are just words words only hurt based on how a person perceives said word and what they were taught

    I simply dont like the way the f word sounds when said nonchalantly so I dont really care if you use it and it doesnt have anything to do with your upbringing or your verbular vocabular because curse words dont exist its the intent meant behind them and the connotation which changes every other decade.
    Me calling you a snake is just as hurtful and “harmful” as you people who dont seemingly read all the other posts. As I say again a curse is a curse anything that has a malicious intent into it can possibly be hurtful, it all depends on what you let affect you, because I could not let a bomb affect me If I just disregard all the pain but the damage is there , pain makes you stronger we only let ourselves suffer from it because were stupid and petty like that.

    Interesting fact about the acronyms for shitz and fuk
    Good post Anonymous evaluator

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  45. anonymous -  January 28, 2011 - 9:26 am

    APPLE IS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  46. professor westbabes -  January 28, 2011 - 4:26 am

    this is a perfect example of a youth, clearly from essex, behaving like an ape.
    southerners, why bother writing on here?
    please, “john Lewis”… get an education?
    WORD

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  47. Her -  January 27, 2011 - 7:06 pm

    OK, cuss words are just words, but they show no respect and will not get you a job or anywhere in life. Kids shouldn’t use them, because they aren’t accepted in school, so it is the parent’s responsibility to keep them cuss free. And if words can’t hurt, why do we have kids killing themselves? Words are dangerous, and cussing can hurt, but if your friends accept it I think it’s fine when you’re talking with them. And who are you to decide if cussing or an insult won’t hurt someone?!! I’m pretty sure it’s they’re decision.

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  48. Lauren -  January 26, 2011 - 7:03 pm

    Listen, I believe like anyone else that words should be used prudently and with caution, however, that is simply being aware of the intent of the words and not necessarily the words themselves. Anything can be said to harm a person. Even soft and kind words can be used like a knife if you know how to word it properly.

    That being said, curse words, like any other words, can be used as weapons or just to speak cordially between friends, people you don’t have to worry about offending because you both “get” it. It can be the same culturally speaking, where curse words have been adopted as an acceptable response to certain situations and stimulus. There’s absolutely no reason to censor words, because words can be used however you want them to. If you can’t use curse words, you can always use other words, and while that is intelligent, as your mother may have you believe, I do not believe it is wise.

    Catch my drift?

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  49. Isabel -  January 25, 2011 - 9:44 am

    Call me old fashion, but I like my mother believe that fault language only shows your lack of vocabulary.

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  50. M -  January 25, 2011 - 5:47 am

    Thank you CUPCAKE for your post on July 16, 2010 at 6:23 am
    I learnt something new today :)

    Reply
  51. Matt -  January 24, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    Hey, word may be just words, but they all have a meaning. So if someone said any bad word, it can mean something physical. So all swear words shouldn’t be said. EVEN if they are “Just words.”

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  52. C -  January 19, 2011 - 10:52 am

    Words have power. Sure, many may disagree but the only reson we use words is because of their weight of meaning – as accepted by the majority and not a negligible handful of people, so you can say words don’t hurt, but does that mean it is true? If it is so, ask yourself why people are taken to task for lying about matters of great importance.
    We MUST be careful about what we say, if things are to go well with us in this world.

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  53. RH -  January 19, 2011 - 6:42 am

    Words don’t hurt, the after thought and what they may have caused does.
    Similarly to the idea that guns don’t kill, but people do. Words in and of themselves only are the catalyst for hurt.

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  54. Erika -  January 16, 2011 - 2:09 am

    I, myself, (in my mid-twenties) still have a bit of a problem with the F-bomb, although, after what I’ve experienced in the past couple of months, now I just really want to try to stop. I’ve been going to visit my friend at the jail where I live, and all of these other young women come in to see their friends/family, and every other word out of their mouths is the F-bomb, the C-word, and pretty much every other word ‘in the book.’ I surprised myself when I started thinking of these women (who no doubt were younger than I) as cheap, trashy, trampy, whorish, and even worse, obnoxious, unintelligent and uneducated. And after this realization, I’ve figured that I probably have sounded like that myself. So now I am personally vowing to myself that I am going to stop saying those words. I would much rather use words that will bewilder those who are just as unintelligent as those trashy young women. What a disgrace! I am ashamed of myself for ever using such words! :|

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  55. Me -  January 15, 2011 - 12:56 pm

    Words are just words?

    Pity!

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  56. Krystynbelle -  January 13, 2011 - 12:54 pm

    There are signs that there are intelligent people posting here…and not so intelligent. Since when has a “cuss” word hurt anyone any more than a “non” cuss word?

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  57. Evan Hayslett -  January 13, 2011 - 7:51 am

    Wow, I never knew that there was such a dramatic difference between the three. I just thought that they were just in the same group: Bad Words.

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  58. Danmike -  January 11, 2011 - 8:19 pm

    @little girl that’s smart enough to know not to swear, (whew, that is a long name)
    calm down. anyway, shut your mouth is near to a cuss too. plus, its ‘site’ not ‘sight’. Although words can hurt, when we’re having a discussion like this, you should disscuss, not insult people by criticizing them with anger!

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  59. rose -  January 11, 2011 - 11:34 am

    people are people we mess up. ok someone drops their brand new phone in a puddle. “oh s**t” would be most peoples automatic response. their not trying to hurt someone right? it could be worse. they could walk up to you and say, “Look no one at this or that club or whatever likes you. you should just quit because no one wants to talk to someone like you.” i have lived through that all my life, and i know it hurts. I was not raised to shun “bad” words, in fact my mom uses them all the time. its just not right to say them at inapprpriate times, like at a job interveiw or in front of your boyfriends parents and so on.

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  60. little girl that's smart enough to know not to swear!!!!!! -  January 10, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    what in the world are you people talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Its NEVER okay to swear etc.people nowadays drop those words around AND DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!so if your one of those people shut your mouth intill you can STOP!!!because i have seen a lot of those words on this sight and if you don’t know it yet this is a kid sight to!!!!!!!!!!

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  61. PhoenixFeathers -  January 8, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    Swear words in themselves are just a bunch of letters put together.
    Only the way you use them can be hurtful.

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  62. Mikayla -  January 8, 2011 - 11:07 am

    Honestly it all depends on when the word is used, how the word is used, and who it is said to.

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  63. Mikayla -  January 8, 2011 - 11:06 am

    Honestly it all depends on when the word is used, how the word is used, and who it said to.

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  64. lexi-con :) -  January 7, 2011 - 6:05 pm

    the only words i don’t use because I find them offensive are racial slurs, the N-word especially, but also the k-word, partially because I’m jewish. The other words, like the “f-bomb” have really lost their power to offend since as little as a decade ago.

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  65. Marcus -  January 7, 2011 - 7:52 am

    most people say that words cant hurt people, but most kids get hurt emotionaly. it’s what make kids commit suicide and join gangs!

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  66. Rufus -  January 6, 2011 - 10:25 pm

    The English swear word Bloody is a dimunitive of an oath ‘By the Lady’used by English soldiers during the Napoleonic wars

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  67. rebel:) -  January 6, 2011 - 8:58 am

    ok..
    1.people dont say cuss words just for ill wishing..
    2.there used as like “f*** i just stubbed my toe”! or somethin
    3.f word-not so bad..N WORD=the worst on my list
    4.if antyhin i think retard should be a cuss word. its so offensive.i dont know any kids with mentel issuses but i still find it offensive
    5.y shoulpeople carre about bad words really? christions shouldnt care about the f word because they should accept other religions and realize that some others DONT BELIEVE! GEEZ

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  68. GETITSTRAITPPL -  January 4, 2011 - 4:57 pm

    Words are, as many have said, “Man’s Greatest Success” noting that the creation of communication was the Yin of why the world goes round. They are used to intentionally (and sometimes unintentionally) express, show feelings, convey ideas, etc. Somewhere in history someone may have created words to show extra feeling to a single or combination of words that have a certain meaning. Many have not enjoyed those words, so they were “banned” not to use them in certain places. Other times they are simply used as simpler synonyms. For Example, “Damn” Can be used as an exclamation of surprise, or an adjective to show hate towards something (“That Damned. . !!”). Remember that these words can mean totally different things if used differently. Many times different words have been needed to show the same feeling, but were used instead to not have an intensified effect. In MY dictionary, these words as such are classified as Slang, to recommend informal use. Remember that it is all in how you use the word that counts entirely.

    Like my username says, GET IT STRAIGHT, PEOPLE

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  69. Phill -  January 4, 2011 - 1:18 pm

    Offended: In my opinion, as a civil society, we seem to define what is and isn’t acceptable by if and how people are offended or not. Blacks are offended by the n-word, Gays are offended by the other F-word. Christians are offended by the F-word. I am offended by all these terms: “righteous N-word”, “affectionate F-word”, independent of how they are used. So the point is not whether you have a right or privilege to use any word you want – the point is whether the word you are using, however you are using it, is declared to be offensive to someone – that’s what makes society civil in my opinion. So if Gays and Black have the right to declare that the other F-word or the N-word are offensive, then Christians have the right too? (still?) to find the F-word offensive. The FCC has the unfortunate job of regulating what is offensive, while the press, academia, and bloggers get to comment about it. . .

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  70. Scarlett -  January 3, 2011 - 10:44 am

    Words are not just words. It is as simple as that. Everything negative you say will have a negative effect on your life, and anything positive you say will have a positive effect on your life.

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  71. Emily -  December 31, 2010 - 8:03 am

    As Lano and Woodley say, “Stick and stones will break my bones, but words will only cause permanent psychological damage.” ;)

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  72. Lora -  December 29, 2010 - 5:55 pm

    I have hated swear words since I was a kid. I even (and especially) hated them as a teenager and I couldn’t stand listening to other kids use them all the time because they thought it made them sound “cool” or “grown up”. I’ve had to learn to tolerate it somewhat so I don’t go crazy! I’m not really a religious person, but amazingly, I learned somehow that it was “wrong” anyway. Sometimes I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I have Asperger’s Syndrome?

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  73. trilby -  December 29, 2010 - 12:35 pm

    I’ve always wondered whether it is offensive to say “I screwed it up.” Is the expression derived from the “copulate” meaning of “screw”? I’ve heard the expression on Cartoon Network so I suppose it shouldn’t be considered a curse word… Then again, I have watched Cow and Chicken on the same television so I’m not sure how strict their censorship policy is. ;)

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  74. philologist -  December 27, 2010 - 7:20 am

    Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

    (Just words….right!!)

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  75. me -  December 23, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    hmmm…

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  76. morgie -  December 14, 2010 - 12:26 pm

    i like the show:@&% my dad says!! does this affect me??!!

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  77. ;) -  December 6, 2010 - 8:33 pm

    words can hurt. i’ve been hurt by people who need to learn to think before they speak.
    some are more sensitive to words than others. no one takes in words the same and you have to be careful what you say…. one little word can get you in big trouble. it’s all about everyone else’s perspective or point of view.

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  78. A torn down teen -  December 6, 2010 - 3:47 pm

    I’m just gonna put this out there… You may say that “words will never hurt me” when in reality they DO hurt. The psychological scars that I’ve lived with from my childhood still affect me today. The number 2 reason for death in teens is suicide, over 75% of those suicides are because of bullying which is now a federal offense in many states for that very reason.

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  79. Alma -  December 6, 2010 - 2:39 pm

    Words can hurt some it just depends on how sensitive you are. and if you are used to it, but it does have its lasting affects because for some it can be traumatizing and for others they may just not care although those people have usually either done drugs or have problems with emotions. Why would we be given emotions if not to convey them and actually have reactions to what people say and do. Those people who say they don’t care never admit that they actually do care what others say and do they just want to look tough.

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  80. KLB -  December 6, 2010 - 4:09 am

    Depending on who I’m talking to depends on what language I use. When I talk to my cousin who has not grown up in the best area or had the best education I have to tailor my language and use the words that he uses in his day to day, which unfortunately means a lot of swearing. When I’m talking to my close friends and immediate family I don’t feel as though I have to sensor my language so use a more a colourful language than I would if I was just introduced to someone. When talking to someone in a professional or respectful manner I wouldn’t dream of using bad language.

    To sum up, I don’t believe it is possible to communicate to all people on al levels without swearing.

    Oh, and when there a children about try to cut it out.

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  81. Moondancer883 -  December 4, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    1. words do hurt, believe it or not. wow. reality check coming in…
    2. it doesn’t matter which one is the worst, the intent is still the same: to hurt, or to express anger
    3. there are so many other ways to say what you want to say without using swearing! all it does is show how illiterate you are when you use the f-word or something, and even if you say “f you”, the “f” has the same intent and so it isn’t different from a swear word!!

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  82. Anonymous -  December 2, 2010 - 1:45 pm

    i have several things to say 1: is that i was astonished by all the people commenting on this. its amazing that such a harmless article could inspire so many comments. 2: i think that yes the c-word is the worst one but whoever said that it is commonly used by people in the UK and Ireland could be right because the offensiveness of each word differs from person to person, day to day, country to country. in America most people consider the c-word or f-word the worst cuss word, but i cant speak for other countries. 3: many people said words cant hurt you. others said they can. i consider both to be true. words cant hurt you physically,but they can harm you emotionally or psychologically, depending on the person. the thing is how much it hurts depends on your upbringing, how much the person was trained to hate cuss words, and sensitivity. i personally don’t really care if somebody says damn, or shit. but if somebody says the f-word or c-word, i am surprised and offended. but i cant speak for anybody else because i cant see into someone elses mind.

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  83. Lee Jimenez -  November 27, 2010 - 9:50 am

    A lot of you are weird. I don’t comprehend why so many people would want to defend swearing. I think so many people react negatively to this article because they feel personally attacked because they are swearers and they know that they are doing something that is uncouth.

    I admit swearing isn’t going to cause a persons heart to explode or anything like that, but these words sound just plain nasty and ugly, and when I hear them I lose a little respect for the person who spoke them. I feel that if we all just went about swearing for one the words would lose their vigor and when they are used in instances where it is understandable to use them they would not sound as “mighty” I guess you could say. But also people are growing accustomed to using these words for any negative experience in their lives (even positive nowadays, haven’t you ever heard “that was f***ing awesome”?). We are using these words so much that overall we aren’t using any other words and our vocabulary as a people is diminishinll be new sets of curse words and whatnot so that the old ones won’t be considered as bad anymore but I hope that whatever the set of curse words of that time is people, and we sound much stupider.

    And I know that as society changes there we don’t say them and decide to use the other words in the wonderful English dictionary.

    My two cents.

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  84. Emily -  November 26, 2010 - 8:36 am

    At my school the trend is cussing without the teacher seeing but i am “above the influence” as one would say.

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  85. Emily -  November 26, 2010 - 8:29 am

    Basically, it doesnt matter since most of the time were not calling each other bad names. Were just saying words. But since it still upsets people I only say crap, crud, and sucks because those arent red alert “OMG SHE JUST SAID THAT” words.

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  86. JGY3817 -  November 24, 2010 - 5:13 am

    The only reasons words hurt is because you were taught that they should. Say some bad words to someone who doesn’t speak your language… it doesn’t harm him/her. If you say the definition of the bad word instead of the word itself, nobody cares. I can drop the F-bomb or say fornicate instead… both words mean the same thing but people for some reason get all offended over it.

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  87. hksche2000 -  November 21, 2010 - 10:16 am

    If words had no power (to hurt or heal), there wouldn’t be/have been any demagogues, crusaders, missionaries, prophets, imams etc. Be VERY careful how you use your words. Words have changed the world perhaps more than guns or other powers throughout history. Consider the bible, quran, communist manifest etc. Words can hurt and cause more damage than “sticks and stones”, of course, though Mother Goose’s audience may beg to differ.

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  88. Anonymous -  November 21, 2010 - 4:38 am

    I think that there is nothing wrong with swearing in an appropriate context ie among peers who would do the same. However, (I’m in High School) I wouldn’t swear in front of my teachers, for example, because it’s not in keeping with the formal relationship we’re expected to have with them.

    To all those people saying “They’re only words”, I agree that curse words are no different to any others as individual words. However, those of you saying that words have no power, I’d remind you to think again. How often have you listened to somebody speaking – using WORDS – and been swayed by their opinion? Think about it, words can be used for terrible things – Hitler rose to power essentially on the strength of being a skilled and impassioned public speaker who said what the people wanted to hear. Did he swear? No.

    Think about it. An individual word has no power. A combination of words can have an entirely different effect.

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  89. Goofy_Charli -  November 19, 2010 - 7:25 am

    I think the main problem I have with people who swear all the time isn’t actually with the words themselves, but with the terrible amount of wasted time and breath one goes through in doing so! I mean seriously, isn’t far easier and quicker to say “that guy stole my bag!” than “that mother f*****g sh**head of a guy f*****g stole my f*****g bag!!!!”? I personally think so. (And I’m not making that up, I’ve heard someone say that.)

    Don’t get me wrong, occasionally the situation calls for an f-bomb or two – like when you drop a hammer on your toe or realise your computer has crashed and you’ve lost a 3000 word assignment you’ve just spent all night typing – not to mention it’s due the next day (though shame on you for leaving it to the last minute! ^^). When that happens, screaming something profane is quite satisfying, it won’t fix anything but it might make you feel better.

    My point is, moderation is the key to everything. Swearing all the time that way so many people do nowadays just really isn’t necessary. If you believe the feng shui that your life is counted by your breaths, people who swear incessantly are going to die sooner. Isn’t that enough reason to stop? I think so.

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  90. Vivvy ♥ -  November 18, 2010 - 5:59 pm

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”

    That is not true. Whether you know it or not, just about everything ever spoken to you or that you ever hear has affected you greatly, for better or for worse.

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  91. louis paiz -  November 2, 2010 - 5:12 am

    words are the reflection of whom you are. as an individual one must educated his mouth his ejes ears and buttom remmember that class is something one borned with. is nothing that you can go to the supper market an buy a bottle of it. also remember that whomever uses profanities is the picture of whom he deals with everyday.insults are like stains that spots the mouth of whom ever pronunces it . thank you very much.

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  92. QWERIOP -  November 1, 2010 - 5:55 pm

    Alright peeps. Look, words can affect people, but it’s our choice whether we choose to be offended by it or not. Anyone can say a ‘bad’ word if they mean no offense. Even some words aren’t very extreme or offensive in original meaning such as crap: meaning poo, waste or unwanted shit: which is basically the same thing. My baby sister doesn’t think ‘shut up’ is bad at all, (which can be believed by many very young one) because its only a stricter sense of ‘be quiet’.

    Like HoneyB was saying, the tongue can be considered a sword, though the other person can be considered an invincible shield, not taking the blow and having no effect on the person whatsoever.
    I may seem like im talking shit, and you may choose to ignore me

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  93. Angela -  October 27, 2010 - 8:36 am

    those of you attacking Arok are missing his point – he is obviously talking about words in context of THIS ARTICLE – which is refering to a cussing Bono and the controversy over censoring something that slipped out in excitment. Bono’s F-bomb was just a word that didn’t hurt anyone 0- and if someone is “hurt” by the F-word, they must be living under a rock

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  94. HoneyB -  October 24, 2010 - 8:17 pm

    If we consider the tongue a sword, then one might choose their words more wisely. Words may uplift or slice through another’s heart – it is all based on the Intent with how the words were delivered. Yes, slang is prevalent and can be joyful, and that should not be taken out of context. However, the responsibility is two-fold: both the messenger and the receiver need to understand how the message was delivered. Communication can be based on more than words – it is proactive & interactive. We can clarify and confirm and avoid misunderstandings. We can show respect and exercise some self-restraint when appropriate.

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  95. Anonymous -  October 24, 2010 - 12:15 pm

    Despite overuse, those words do have meaning. When someone refers to sexual activity, excrement, and rear-ends every other sentence, it makes me wonder if they actually think about what they’re saying. Perhaps the words don’t hurt other people, but it can definitely hurt your reputation.

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  96. Kindred -  October 23, 2010 - 6:06 pm

    Andy on October 15, 2010 at 12:13 am
    Religious nuts?
    BS?
    Religion has existed throughout history.
    The first presidents of the U.S.A. and many other leaders throughout the history of that country have been religious. As well as leaders throughout other nations and cultures throughout the world.
    Religion has founded nations, caused wars, brought people together, gave people a cause. I highly doubt that religion is as foul as you seem to claim. There are those who misuse the “trust” that people place into religion. But there are people, sometimes under the banner of religion, and sometimes not, that have misused, and betrayed people’s “trust” throughout history. But assuming that all religious persons are “nuts” is pointless, and wrong. Being atheist is, in a sense, a religion at this point in time.

    Religion has existed throughout human history, without regards to national borders or cultures. Aside from the European religions that most everyone seems familiar with,[Catholicism, Protestantism, Baptism, Evangelism, etc.] the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, Hindi, Zuni, Zulu, and Egyptians all had religions… so do many African tribes, and let’s not forget the religions of India, the Orient, the Middle East, or elsewhere in the world.

    So, to summarize, you’re wrong.

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  97. amanda -  October 23, 2010 - 11:05 am

    Profanity is the crutch of the illiterate

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  98. Dan -  October 22, 2010 - 9:18 am

    I think people take offense to words such as these too easily. Whenever I’m telling someone about something sweet I saw, or something that happened, tagging on the ‘f’ word really emphasises the magnitude of whatever it is your explaining. If you know how to use your swear words wisely and intelligently, they can definitly be more helpful than hurtful.

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  99. liz -  October 22, 2010 - 7:54 am

    I dont think “bad words ” are bad there just words just like idiot why isnt that a bad word? why is the f word consiterd a bad word?

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  100. Cronkinator -  October 21, 2010 - 11:30 pm

    Actually, something I just remembered… I’ve heard before that the F word is actually and acrynm for Fornication Under Consent of the King. It sounds logical but I’ve always wondered if there is any truth there.

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  101. Cronkinator -  October 21, 2010 - 11:14 pm

    I would like to recognize the F word as one of the most veratile words in the english language. What other words can be used to express joy, anger, surprise, etc AND at the same time can be a verb, noun, and adjective all with clear and instant regognition of the intended message.

    How about the F word as the Hot Word!

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  102. Starburst Forever -  October 20, 2010 - 2:26 pm

    Curse words…..cuss words….swear words… are all the same to most people. The power of words is stronger than the mind can imagine. Some people do have that mind where words affect them with such inevitable danger that they suffer from broken silence. Then there are others that don’t care what the HELL is said to them. As myself I’ve come up with a method of calmness and comfort. Growing up where profanity was band from the household, but I could still hear it in writing or a song. I could definately see why some words are acceptable over others. They’re not as bad as the others are. Can you really say there is a line between right and wrong when it comes to curse words? Yes….I can say there is and cursing is on the wrong side. Just like when you txt you try to shorten how much you can say with such little wording. However, cursing is just that extra little word you wasted your precious time on. Do you see what I’m getting at? It’s useless, those words aren’t to make your point or to drive somone up the wall……IT’S JUST A WORD…A USLESS WORD!!!!!

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  103. random guy -  October 16, 2010 - 11:42 am

    “Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”
    - The Buddha

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  104. Eweneek -  October 15, 2010 - 10:19 pm

    This topic has inspired some interesting and lively debate. I’m most impressed with the posts by Rasta and Steve Foster. I don’t feel I am particularly offended by fowl language, but I do form opinions about people who use it – careless, sloppy, disrespectful. Some time ago, my grown children were home and playing cards with our extended family. I was dismayed to hear them complaining about the sh***y hands being dealt by the cr***y dealer. As the language continued to deteriorate beyond my tolerance level, I finally stood and announced, “I did not raise you kids to talk that way and I will not allow you to use such vulgarities in my home.” I received some mumbled apologies and things were rather quiet for a few moments – until my brother-in-law turned to my son and asked, “So, Matt, are you gonna go out tonight with some of your old buddies and get feces-faced?” Everyone roared and the card game continued with comments of “Can’t you deal anything but fecal matter?” and “This hand is nothing but a smelly pile of excrement!” And it didn’t end there. For Christmas, my brother-in-law presented me with a tee-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, “FECES HAPPENS”.

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  105. Andy -  October 15, 2010 - 12:13 am

    @Anonymous Evaluator on July 15, 2010 at 10:37 pm: A most excellently redundant post! Excellent!

    @screwart on July 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm: I fully agree with your post. Very eloquently done.

    @Ivstin on July 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm: I feel that anything posted after your post, even my post, is redundant. You have said all there is to say in a concise, clear and non-offensive manner. If people don’t get it after that…they’re hopeless. Most excellent.

    Geez…is the world going soft?

    Get it straight people! It’s all about context, respect and a dash of discretion.

    I’m a Caucasian canuck living in China.

    In my daily life, I witness the weirdest, most incomprehensibly unbelievable things and I think to myself “Holy S–t! Wouldja look at that!” or sometimes when the situation is so inane that to properly convey the degree of absurdity, it is almost obligatory to use the perennial favorite “How/What the f–k!?!?” and if I happen to be with any of my foreigner friends, male or female, I say it aloud. So far, none of my friends think any less of me or have ever felt insulted/repulsed/angered/disgusted/belittled/outraged/**insert feeling or emotion here**, by my use of the F or S-word. My comments didn’t even faze them even though they contained the abominable, dreaded, **banish-you-to-burn-forever-in-the-fiery-depths-of-hell-if-u-dare-utter-it** S-word (the S can be substituted for a host of other letters).

    With all that being said…I am willing to bet that at least half of those same friends would feel at least one of the above-mentioned feelings/emotions if I were to use the F, or S-word in a different context with a completely different meaning behind it, eg: “Hey! You’re such a s–theel!” or “What’s your problem? What the f–k is wrong with you?” and “Holy f–king s–t, you are one f–king s–t for brains moron!”

    I must say that whether I’m with friends or strangers, I do use discretion in my use of profanity. Of my friends I know what I can or can’t say around each one of them and out of respect for them I try my best to not offend anyone.

    People who have even just a modicum of social etiquette coupled with a modicum of common sense know what to say and when to say it.

    I do have enough social etiquette to know when and where to use profanity therefore you would never catch me swearing around children and senior citizens. My personal reasoning behind this is that children are like sponges, soaking up and repeating everything they hear and are also much easier to influence than older people as for senior citizens, they have lived longer, had tougher times in life and have worked harder than myself and, once again, out of respect for those facts I refrain from the use of profanity.

    Words are just words. How about the N-word? Often used as a derogatory term for dark skinned people, mostly Blacks. If a Caucasian uses the N-word around Blacks, you can bet that seconds later there WILL be trouble…This is the scene: After having beat you to an unrecognizable pulp for having the cohones to use the N-word, the Black dude turns to his Black friend and says “Hey, mah N-word, let’s get out of here!”

    Uh oh, I smell hypocrisy…

    As for myself, I am not offended by profanity, the honest to goodness truth is that they’re just words, only you, yes, ONLY YOU control how you feel after someone says them, nobody else. Are you going to let someone control your emotions, feelings and your general well-being just by simply saying a few words…that would be very sad, pathetic and humiliating for you, in my opinion.

    So the moral of this story is:

    People should realize that most everything that can be said and/or done has a time and a place, including profanity and that if you are easily perturbed by words, the problem may not be the person swearing but instead, the problem may be with you.

    ps: I find it amusing that the people who use quotes from the various religions in their posts expect us to take them seriously when they never provide tangible, real evidence instead only providing quotes from some scripture or wherever.

    HEY RELIGIOUS NUTS, YOUR OPINIONS ARE MOOT SINCE YOUR MINDS HAVE ALREADY BEEN HIJACKED AND TAINTED BY THE NONSENSICAL BS IN YOUR RELIGIOUS TEXTS. DANGEROUSLY LOW SELF-ESTEEM LEVELS QUITE OFTEN LEAD TO A WEAK MIND, LEAVING IT VULNERABLE AND OPEN TO HIJACKING.

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  106. Think of what you speak -  October 14, 2010 - 6:14 pm

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken. ” In my oppinion, is incorrect. Im still a kid but i realize that words CAN harm since i have a friend that has had a mental problem because of putdowns and insults. He has ADHD which is when you have too much energy and cannot focus. he isnt like those people in a wheelchair or anything but he has a very loud voice and is very annoying.So the point is, words can harm in ways of disrespect but sometimes when you dont mean disrespect or the person knows what you mean, then you might be ok. in most cases it still isn’t right to swear.

    Reply
  107. Marina -  October 14, 2010 - 11:10 am

    Your quote “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.” in the sense, is technically incorrect. Sometimes in a situation, words do and can hurts others by what has been spoken or by what is being spoken, but in the assumption of the situation by “swearing” “cussing” e.g., the quote is true. I tend to cuss at times without realizing I am doing so, just out of habit, to the annoyance of those around me. Sometimes, it is best to speak only when spoken to, so you don’t randomly drop an f-bomb. xD

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  108. Dethanos -  October 14, 2010 - 10:47 am

    To everyone who thinks that use of “profanity” shows ignorance or a lack of intelligence, please remember that there are people who feel that your opinion demonstrates not only a lack of intelligence, but also an overabundance of intolerance and baseless arrogance.

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  109. Dethanos -  October 14, 2010 - 10:38 am

    “Usage of slang and profanity only serves to show the uneducated ignorance (yes, it’s redundant) and baseness of an individual.”

    Ridiculous. The only reason the concept of “curse words” persists in modern society is that arrogant bigots like you use it to feel superior to others by submitting yourself to some arbitrary and meaningless moral standard.

    Your statement regarding comedians is also complete nonsense. George Carlin was probably one of the most intelligent and professional comedians of the last century and his stand-up was filled with so-called profanity. The humor of his “Seven Words” bit was based largely on the absurdity of the concept.

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  110. Michael -  October 14, 2010 - 6:42 am

    As a young sailor-in-training, one day in class I got a test back and the grade was far worse than I had hoped. I blurted out a hearty s**t! To which, our instructor (a person I highly respected and admired) replied, “Michael, what just came out of your mouth I wouldn’t hold in my hand!” She taught me that day that our words can and do affect others, sometimes by showing them how ignorant, thoughtless, and ill-mannered we are. On the other hand, there are contexts in communication when words other than strong, possibly crass expressions simply cannot carry the weight of the moment.

    I think speaking could be compared to farting – both express hot air from inside, in the right context both can bring relief or be humorous or offensive and, at the moment, may seem like nothing more than wind but can leave a residue that is evidence that there is something rotten inside.

    Context is key!

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  111. melvin -  October 14, 2010 - 6:24 am

    just yesterday i heard a caucasian guy using nigga, not the racist way. the way black people use it. i have to admit it was kind of funny to hear him say it but he wasnt trying to be offensive. its all in the context of how you use the word.

    Reply
  112. melvin -  October 14, 2010 - 6:01 am

    well the ok thing appears more in texts as annoying but usually if they cant even hold a good text conversation without just saying ok in every text they cant hold a decent intelligent conversation

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  113. melvin -  October 14, 2010 - 5:59 am

    there are much bigger language problems than cursing. like the mindless people that say uh every other word and idk or ok in almost every sentence i find that worse than cursing and way more annoying. so i usually dont talk to people who cant string together a sentence without uh

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  114. Brandi -  October 14, 2010 - 5:23 am

    When all words become equal, how does one express extremes?

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  115. Mike -  October 13, 2010 - 5:49 pm

    For all of those people who are say words are just words and that cursing is fine should pay attention. The Bible says “…There is the power of life and death in the tongue.”

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  116. Maddy M. -  October 13, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    kool

    Reply
  117. rasta -  October 11, 2010 - 1:39 pm

    I would submit that words/communicated ideas become behaviors/actions which can eventually become conflicts/wars. In this age of rapidly declining morals and decaying education, shouldn’t we be elevating, instead of degrading, ourselves and others? Usage of slang and profanity only serves to show the uneducated ignorance (yes, it’s redundant) and baseness of an individual. For example, true comedians display a level of intelligence that crass individuals do not possess. Profanity only serves to negate the importance of any verbiage and further debase the collective intellect.

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  118. Gregory M. Elmthrop -  October 8, 2010 - 3:40 pm

    I am always interested in the way’s this website talks about Words! Thank you for such an interesting topic but I wonder why theres so much swearing on TV. That’s really interesting to me but it makes me think we are loosing our grip on comunication (Talking, Writing, and So On)do you think so too?
    For instants, a show on tv named, “Two And A half Man” sometimes uses word’s like Shup Up and A*s! Which I also think shouldn’t be used.
    Thanks for this interesting story and I love Learning about Words!

    - Gregory M. Elmthorp

    Reply
  119. Kerstin -  October 7, 2010 - 7:05 pm

    Also words can be powerful. Saying that nobody can be harmed by what is spoken doesn’t make any sense. If alot of people hate you and tell you you’re a doushebag, to kill yourself, or something like that chances are you’ll be hurt. You’ll feel lonely and may not be motivated to sleep, eat, or maintain good hygiene. Some people feel so lonely that they end up killing themselves because people use words to hurt them. I used to listen to depressing music freuqently. I was almost never happy, and most of the time my mood was flat, but later on, when I stopped just listening to anything that would come on the radio, I started taking care of myself more and I had more self-esteem, and I think it’s mostly because of that.

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  120. Alicia -  October 7, 2010 - 12:19 pm

    If you honestly believe that words are meaningless than you are seriously uneducated in literature and language arts.
    Adolf Hitler made a few amazing speeches (just words) and thousands upon thousands of people ended up murdered.
    A woman told her abusive husband that shes had enough and that shes leaving (still just words) later that day he put a bullet in her head and killed all three of his young daughters (all under the age of 5).
    A judge tells a woman that she must hand custody of her children over to her ex-husband because she is an unfit mother (just words) later that week she flees to her native country and takes the kids with her, the father never sees them again.

    Words can evoke strong emotions in people which in turn will cause some sort of action to be done which could be good or bad. Words are very powerful and never are they meaningless.

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  121. Anne -  October 7, 2010 - 7:12 am

    In my opinion “bad words” are part of every language and it’s our duty to keep them alive. Sure, they aren’t sophisticated, but how do you expect us to handle our cheating wives or husbands for example? What suits better: “Get your hands off my wife!” or “Get your f***ing hands off my wife, you bloody as*****!”

    Plus, they can be funny sometimes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to defend vulgar insults that are based purely on person’s looks. That’s something totally different, it’s f***ing serious.

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  122. Alan Lam -  October 6, 2010 - 5:45 pm

    America has fallen so far as to not even care that curse words are used, let alone make excuses as to use them?

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  123. sconie -  October 6, 2010 - 10:50 am

    The fairy tale Sticks & Stones was seldom completely understood. It was just another old saying to make, you feel better? I only understood later in life,thee words use to me played a large part in my formanation. I was constanly BULLIED
    by words my reactions stayed guided me for ever more.

    Reply
  124. Stella -  October 5, 2010 - 9:40 pm

    If you think about what they mean they are not that nice eather. It’s just how some people started using them derogatorily.

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  125. Stella -  October 5, 2010 - 9:38 pm

    Each and every word you say can impact you sometime or another. Likewise when you curse, cuss, swear, etc you are telling the world that you have a bad temper and/or you don’t know how to control what comes out of your mouth. I personal don’t like to tell someone a secret if I know that they don’t know how to control their words. Another thing is that people view them as low class and if you ever want to impress someone you will need eloquent speech. You just never know who could hear you.(ehem G-d)These are just A few reasons why not to curse, cuss, swear,etc.

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  126. Jocantha Telsey -  October 3, 2010 - 4:10 pm

    SO, i have to comment. First of all, this article is interesting. but when did f***, sh**, A**, a**hole, b**** and all the other cuss words out there become cuss words in the first place? cuz they’re not that bad, everyone just makes it seem that way.

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  127. I am Myself -  October 3, 2010 - 10:28 am

    Something to add, though like the ninth comment at silver fang (who, by the way, i seriously don’t agree with – pen can be sharper than sword, many say) is this: it’s true that words only hurt if you let them. but if everyone took everyone’s opinion with a grain of salt, then where would we go as a society? and if we only took opinions toward us that were negative with a grain of salt, we would be kidding ourselves. I am against cursing because I think that it shows that you lack enough creativity to think of something else to say.

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  128. Cal -  October 2, 2010 - 12:22 pm

    To “Anonymous Evaluator”:

    I am pro-cursing, but I don’t share the characteristics you assigned to the Pro-Curser group. I care about (strive to be aware of), and take responsibility for, my impact on others. I believe that we can use the full language, and also be sensitive to the impact of what we say, when, and to whom. As a consciousness teacher, I help people see their impact, and communicate the impact on them.

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  129. Dethanos -  October 1, 2010 - 11:58 am

    “It is silly to say that words are just words and that they can’t hurt or affect people. Many people find cussing offensive. Cussing makes the speaker seem angry, violent, or just plain stupid.”

    I find your words offensive. I think your words make you seem stupid. Nonetheless, they are still just words.

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  130. Jon D -  September 29, 2010 - 9:26 pm

    I have to disagree with the whole “words hurt people”. Words are only as offensive as you let them be. I have been maliciously cussed out and cursed at many times and I just shrug it off. I think the reason we get upset at these words is because we are always taught to be angered or offended by them.

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  131. Savannah -  September 29, 2010 - 3:21 pm

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

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  132. Blizzard -  September 28, 2010 - 11:02 am

    I didn’t know a lot of these words until now! D; Thanks a lot!
    Lol kidding…

    -Blizzard

    Reply
  133. Mousie -  September 28, 2010 - 8:56 am

    @ viking on July 16, 2010 at 6:27 am

    I am confused as to what any of your movie watching habits has to do with this thread???

    This site has been very colorful and useful. It used to be very plain and simple dictionary site. I would never expected to see bug pop up ads
    a few months ago. I wouold not swear when I see them but they certainly have enough effect than profain words. By the way, I rent several movies every week and I just pick them at random most of the times. After watching them, I got taken by surpris because those movies have corresponded or fortelled my mood. Or sometimes they leave some obscure clues to look for. I watched North by Northwest last night and Satyricon just a while ago.
    I have seen them more than a few times before but they feel different than before. Maybe I remember them wrong or with different understanding. Tonigh I am going to see the Sirocco. I have never seen this before. Watchin movies without any expectation might be very premitive communication form between image and a conscious thing.

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  134. some random person -  September 28, 2010 - 5:04 am

    @ apple

    actually the hardest wound to heal is a komodo dragon bite (ACID SPIT!!!!)

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  135. DestinedforGreatness -  September 27, 2010 - 11:34 pm

    @Silver Fang: If word were ‘just words’people wouldn’t get offended by curse words or insulted when you curse at them. They’re called CURSE words and the fact that so many people get upset over should allow them to be banned from public broadcasting. I hate curse words and can’t stand to be around people who curse. Something about them is just not Godly.

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  136. p.s. -  September 27, 2010 - 2:42 pm

    “Typical Americans corrupting “curse” to “cuss”.

    I knew that word had zero credibility.”

    I rarely hear Americans say this word. I hear it among my Jamaican family, though. “Cuss bad word” and all that…

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  137. Steve Foster -  September 27, 2010 - 2:27 pm

    Cursing is relative; but then, all morality can be made relative. Some people might think racial lynching or human sacrifice is perfectly normal — but as soon as such relativity comes in contact with a different relativity (or, heaven forbid, with an absolute), accommodation is demanded from one side or the other.

    Among the many facts and opinions presented here is the fact that there always (or at least for several more centuries) will be greater or lesser elements in our mixed society who think the “swear words” we currently consider as such are still offensive, obnoxious, and hurtful to them — therefore, appropriacy will remain relative to those defining elements with little regard to how popular swearing becomes for others. The only hope for those addicted to verbal vileness, who out of sheer laziness and self-uncontrol want to pull the whole world down to their sloppy level, is to effect total social isolation upon those communities whose verbal morality is pegged more strictly than theirs. It would be a difficult task, considering that those communities are not contracting in size or distribution.

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  138. Anonymous -  September 25, 2010 - 8:05 am

    Words can’t hurt anyone? Are you kidding me? Words are the reason many teenage children nowadays cut themselves or even commit suicide. Words were what convinced Germany to kill the Jews. Words are what inspired Osama bin Laden to organize a terrorist group against the West. Words are the most powerful weapons in a human’s arsenal.

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  139. bo -  September 23, 2010 - 7:12 am

    To student of theology: apparently reading your Bible has made dumber since there was no need to change their to there since there is the correct word. Unfortunately you failed to change grammer to grammar. Turn on your spell check.

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  140. bo -  September 23, 2010 - 7:00 am

    Words do hurt….your credibility Kimbo. FYI 2 and dat are not words. 2 is a number and I have no idea what a dat is. Your lack of understanding of what a word is disqualifies you as a critic on the subject. Go bak to skool 2 learn gooder Anglish!

    Regarding Bono and the F-bomb he dropped. There are several million Japanese who would have loved to have had an F-bomb dropped on them rather than the A-bomb. Sticks and stones may indeed break my bones, but A-bombs will vaporize me.

    Just a thought..who gives a sh*t what a egotistical, self aggrandizing pariah such Bone-O thinks or says? What does this say about our society when someone as insignificant as a singer can generate this kind of attention.

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  141. jaxter -  September 21, 2010 - 2:07 pm

    Two months, and still going…
    You can observe the varying tolerance of different cultures for swear words just by looking at the Americans and the British. The Americans’ Federal Trade Commission will not tolerate the use of common four-letter words that George Carlin made famous in a comedy rant dedicated to the subject of swear words.

    The British, on the other hand, have completely disassociated the meaning of the words from the words themselves, and have now restored “s**t”, “f**k”, “c**t” to common usage, as Shakespeare intended.

    A once-popular rhyming slang was developed by the inhabitants of a district of London, partly in play, and partly as code. For example,
    “Apples and Pears” = stairs
    “Trouble and Strife” = wife
    “Berkeley Hunt” = c**t (note that this is shortened in today’s British slang to just “Berke”, but it still means someone who is considered a “c**t”, meaning someone who is prone to stupid and/or cruel behavior.)

    The Brits also call someone a “prick”, in the Shakespearean sense, meaning someone who is insensitive, boorish, and/or mean-spirited.

    Another handy term is “wanker”, for someone who is self-absorbed, a wastrel, or inconsiderate. It literally means someone who is fond of masturbation.

    If the meaning of “Berke”, “prick” and “wanker” were understood in America, they would have to be stripped out of all the British TV shows and films they grace today for domestic consumption.

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  142. Brian -  September 15, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    * imbue * not imbibe. My apologies. It’s been a long couple hours reading your posts.

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  143. Brian -  September 15, 2010 - 12:27 pm

    I am a college-educated poet with a wonderful vocabulary. I read T.S. Eliot and James Joyce for fun. And I can tell you that words are, in fact, simply words. The power words have rests in our ability to imbibe them with meaning. If someone calls you a name, it is their opinion. It is their opinion of you whether or not they say it. But, does their opinion actually matter? No. Most likely it does not. (In much the same way that you will disregard what I am saying if you do not agree with my main premise.) But, alas, it is my opinion. Cheers.

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  144. Storm -  September 15, 2010 - 9:28 am

    People Can Say what They Want….That Is My Opinion….Words are just Words You have to Learn to ignore them and listen to them when you want and when you don’t. Symbols are just symbols sure they mean something but we can use them as we please! :)

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  145. Verenice -  September 14, 2010 - 11:16 pm

    @ a civilian If anyone were to type a curse word the message would probably be removed. Secondly, a person doesn’t HAVE to curse just because they think that words are just words.

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  146. a student of theology -  September 14, 2010 - 4:51 pm

    i changed their to there because it is better grammer.

    I apologize for the error.

    It has been a long day.

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  147. a student of theology -  September 14, 2010 - 4:49 pm

    It is necessary because there is a significant difference between the words and this is a good article on the subject.

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  148. a student of theology -  September 14, 2010 - 4:49 pm

    @nicola

    It is necessary because their is a significant difference between the words and this is a good article on the subject.

    Reply
  149. a civilian -  September 14, 2010 - 3:35 pm

    “Words are just words” seems to be the general consensus here, yet no one appears to be willing to type one…

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  150. Verenice -  September 14, 2010 - 3:13 pm

    I think that it is the idea or feeling expressed by the word that is offensive, not the word itself. And words can be used in different contexts to mean widely different things. So I would say it is the particular feeling that is wrong or offensive not the actual word.

    So in a sense, words ARE really just words. It is not the word that hurts you it is the context in which it is used that hurts. I’m sure most of us have heard ‘curse’ words used in such a way that no one is being insulted.

    Maybe instead of worrying about ‘curse’ words, we should worry about ‘curse’ feelings?

    Just my thoughts.

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  151. Joel Dodenhoff -  September 14, 2010 - 2:27 pm

    Everyone seems to be coming back to the argument that words cause emotional, psychological pain, etc. This is true but this is true for ALL words. I can say something horrific and completely inappropriate without the use of a harmless word beginning with F, C, or S. “A word is a word” is a completely valid statement. It is a sound. An utterance. The stringing of words together to convey a feeling or emotion through a sentence is what causes the pain. Who determined that these words were suddenly bad words when some of them were, at some point, not a bad word? If a large enough group of people with friends at the FCC wanted to suddenly act as though the word “poop” was just as bad as its synonym beginning with S, would taking that word off the TV make a difference? No. It is just another word. I can still say crap, manure, or eventually make a whole new slang word. That word will, over time, become an evil word because someone will be offended by the way it sounds. I can replace a word that is considered “bad” at the moment with a “good” word and make the same flunking sentence if I wanted to. And there is no mortar flipping person that can flapping stop me. See what I did there?

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  152. Anon -  September 14, 2010 - 12:45 pm

    It is silly to say that words are just words and that they can’t hurt or affect people. Many people find cussing offensive. Cussing makes the speaker seem angry, violent, or just plain stupid.

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  153. Nicola -  September 14, 2010 - 5:14 am

    Lots of people seem to euphemise the vulgar words. Words such as s*** have been given the euphemisms “sheesh”, “shish kebabs”, “shoot” or “sugar”. We should just omit it out of our lives, why come to the point of swearing?

    And time to criticise Hot Word…is it necessary to write an article on VULGAR LANGUAGE? Please!

    -Nicola

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  154. comment man -  September 13, 2010 - 5:48 pm

    I am a Christian, and I find it rather humorous, but sad, how many Christians view cussing. I mean, they treat the use of those words currently unacceptable in society as a terrible offense, yet self-righteously condemn that person with their own words. You tell me which is worse?

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  155. Freddy -  September 13, 2010 - 5:08 pm

    The idea that “words are just words” must be the most asinine thing ever uttered. Words convey meaning, truth, emotion, devotion, conviction, perspective, beliefs, knowledge, and a host of other content-laden elements. Only a person impoverished in mind and devoid of authentic convictions would think a thing. Out of the mouth the heart speaks.

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  156. Kari -  September 13, 2010 - 12:50 pm

    The “N-word” was mentioned as an example… but is that different from cursing though since it has a racist connotation? Does it have a separate term (along with other similar words) than the ones mentioned in the article? Also, no I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way. I am genuinely curious. Oh! If those do have a different term, does the “f-word” that is derogatorily applied to homosexuals fit under that category or is it under a different term than the others?

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  157. Glynis -  September 13, 2010 - 12:43 pm

    OK, bring on the flaming because of the reference I will post here….. Words are NOT “just words”. Whether swear words (cussing – just the naughty word itself) or an entire sentence without such language, but will malice intended – words can cause lasting damage. If you think not, then cough up your innocent youngest children to a psychological study, where I will raise them on an island and they will hear cussing from the day of their birth, the vilest filth I can (well, the vilest filth I can learn, since I don’t actually KNOW much filth) learn, and couple that with hourly diatribes against their every attempt at greatness, etc. Have you never heard of the “self-fulfilling prophecy”? It goes like this – Tell a child often enough that he is stupid and worthless, and he will become stupid and feel worthless. And there were no curse words in there at all.

    Here’s the crux of the matter – and bring on my flaming……
    “Out of the overflow of HEART, the mouth speaks.”
    Matthew 12:34 AND Luke 6:45

    Even if you toss out a word carelessly, your heart HAS spoken. It has said in essence, “I don’t care enough about you and your feelings to bother to think about my words at all!” So there’s no excuse there either.

    And trying to UNDO the damage caused by bad words, whether cursing or just vile, cruel speech – is like trying to UN-ring a bell.

    Lastly, those of you who think that “nobody cares” anymore about what you say, particularly “damn, darn, ding it, Jeepers Creepers” – These are what’s called “Minced Oaths” – see Wikipedia. But they all mean the same thing – they are taking the name of the Lord God in vain, and are therefore on a whole other level than other language. And as for “Nobody” caring ? You didn’t widen your survey enough. I’m here, and I care. A lot.

    (OK, so who’s giving me their precious little children to warp? I promise to return them by second grade – just in time for them to have to stay after school every day for these things you say are just fine in today’s language.)

    I also CHALLENGE you all to pepper your next JOB INTERVIEW with that EXACT same language! Come on, don’t be HYPOCRITES!

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  158. diggity -  September 13, 2010 - 10:27 am

    Typical Americans corrupting “curse” to “cuss”.

    I knew that word had zero credibility.

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  159. AMY-LOU -  September 13, 2010 - 6:36 am

    Okay you people who doesn’t think words can hurt you you’re wrong! Words can make you or break you. I mean think of all the people who gets their feelings hurt because of things people call them or say to them. If it’s not true don’t say it and if it is then i don’t think you still should say them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  160. AMY-LOU -  September 10, 2010 - 7:44 am

    Okay first of all swear words are all wrong to say! Read your Bible people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s not right and i don’t think people shpild say them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  161. k9 -  September 8, 2010 - 7:11 am

    If you give the words meaning and use them how you’re supposed to, they can hurt. Haven’t ou ever heard that kids can be cruel? But if you use them loosely and just say them whenever you want, people can ignore them easily because they loose their meaning.

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  162. Bleep this -  September 4, 2010 - 7:26 pm

    What is this babble? The arrangement of letters does not make a word bad just because someone in the Victorian age said so. It’s a figment of the imagination and would be like saying there’s such a thing as a bad letter. Of course context constitutes good or bad phrasing irrespective of which words are used.

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  163. Ryan -  September 2, 2010 - 5:02 pm

    Words don’t have a meaning? Then why is there this thing called a DICTIONARY?

    @UTard- After all, you can’t spell bonehead without Bono (sort of).

    And besides, now they have ratings and CENSORS (which could very well be my favorite thing in the world. It gets hilarious when it’s overused.) so you can determine the “swear tolerancy” (ie: Barney has no swears because it’s TV-Y, meanwhile World’s Dumbest has just a handful because it’s TV-14).

    Everything has a reason for being there (censors and ratings).
    All words have a meaning (hence the dictionary).

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  164. Anon Y. Mous -  September 1, 2010 - 5:15 am

    Exhausting…

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  165. UTard -  August 31, 2010 - 9:21 am

    Eh. Bono is a bonehead. Fine him, and deport him. Egotistical jerk.

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  166. casual observer -  August 30, 2010 - 1:23 pm

    For those who say words can only hurt if you are small minded enough to “allow” them to hurt…you OBVIOUSLY haven’t heard of a little thing called “defamation of character”.

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  167. Abby -  August 29, 2010 - 1:19 am

    No one can be harmed by what is spoken? What about all the kids who have killed themselves because of being made fun of at school?

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  168. Saf -  August 27, 2010 - 11:06 am

    @Ben B.

    Thank you. After trudging through all of this jejune chatter, it was indescribably nice to be able to read one genuinely thoughtful, well-reasoned, well-expressed comment on the issue.

    Love,
    Saf

    Reply
  169. ryan -  August 27, 2010 - 1:59 am

    Government trying to regulate cuss words? Liberalism at its finest… Next it’ll be cameras in your bedroom…

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  170. 小林代介 -  August 26, 2010 - 8:08 pm

    I find it a little funny that everyone here assumes that swear words are present in all languages and all cultures. It is true that you sometimes have to go to the opposite of the world to realize assumptions you didn’t know you had.

    In the Japanese language, there is no such thing as a swear/curse word. There are equivalents of English swear words in the Japanese language, but they aren’t taboo like in English. And since they aren’t taboo they are never overused, like they are in North America.

    So, I think it is pretty stupid to categorize a bunch of words as “curse” words. They end up being used more because they are taboo, anyway.

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  171. Daniel -  August 26, 2010 - 4:22 pm

    How about a nice alternative applicable to both of the arguing camps: 1) if you are a profanity user but find that someone is offended by such words, don’t use them around them – make the effort to show them that respect; and 2) if you don’t use profanity, be willing to accept someone who does – love them past what you feel to be their rough language. As for “not letting words hurt you,” the only way I know to do that is becoming cold and callous. And that’s definitely not the kind of person I want to become. If caring about other people and having compassion on them means I am going to get hurt sometimes, then so be it!

    @Brian: That is indeed the truly Christian perspective on corrupt speech. I would add that intentionally or carelessly injuring someone with our speech is ethically insane and ultimately hypocritical – for in so doing we are placing ourselves above others when we have no right to do so. And the end of that path is death in all its forms.

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  172. Ben B. -  August 26, 2010 - 12:29 pm

    Ok, I’m seriously tired of all the back and forth about this. Especially considering that those opposed to profanity are insulting those who use it just as much, or more, than those who use are insulting the former. It’s a complete fallacy to presume that one who uses swears lacks a more profound eloquence, or that somebody that doesn’t swear is more adept at speaking. YES! Words can hurt. Yes, we should be considerate of other people’s feelings, but there comes a time when we should ask ourselves why. Why should one person completely alter the way they speak so as to not inadvertently offend someone? Especially considering that those who are against swearing wouldn’t be willing to make the same concessions.

    This brings up the question, who decided which words were bad? Why must we all contrive to have the same view? That would counteract the very principle that our world is striving to accept in the first place. Everybody is different, and no one person is more entitled to their opinion or viewpoint than any other. That being said, no group of people, no matter how large, is more entitled to their viewpoint than is each person.

    Curse, or don’t curse, it’s your choice. Don’t make the rest of us suffer your prudishness, or lack of empathy (as the case may be), though.

    It’s a very simple concept. Use whatever words you like, but be careful how you phrase them.

    I personally don’t see any of the popularized “profanity” to be bad at all, and use it consistently. As has been said, it helps to voice whatever feeling you have at the time.

    Now, let somebody try to tell me that I don’t have the cognitive capacity for more eloquent language and forms of communication.

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  173. oxiproxd9 -  August 22, 2010 - 7:49 am

    @Silver Fang

    Making your comment the first (therefore the most read) was utterly stupid. No one would tell you off if your comment were hidden, like mine, among the thousands.

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  174. BoganLinguist -  August 17, 2010 - 5:19 pm

    As far as we are concerned in Australia the ‘C’ word is the worst one to use. The ‘F’ word is just a word for everyday useage.

    Interestingly males in Australia use the ‘C’ word to descirbe male friends or foes and NEVER as a female-directed pejorative, as is the context in the U.S.

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  175. Shadow Lord -  August 11, 2010 - 7:48 pm

    Hi Silver Fang! You’re kind of bad at expressing yourself. You should at least let the Cliaths speak up first. =P

    But yeah, words only have power if you let them. So, why would anyone let themselves be bothered by a word, unless it was specifically pointed towards them in an insult. Who knows?

    Reply
  176. tamara -  August 11, 2010 - 11:04 am

    Words are very powerful,God spoke the world into existence with his words and tells us our words have to same power. So why take the chance on ‘cursing’ yourself and others when it is just as easy to bless?

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  177. KAL -  August 11, 2010 - 7:51 am

    I’m surprised that you only discuss taking the Christian God’s name in vain – since Christianity came from Judaism, the source of this is really the 10 Commandments (Actually Commandment #3), brought down by Moses to the Jews from Mt. Sinai, older even than Christianity.

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  178. Brian -  August 10, 2010 - 11:58 pm

    Someone wisely mentions earlier that words are symbols for ideas. Much of the arguments here come from use of imprecise language. The *ideas* behind words hurt, not the words themselves. When I visit Thailand and someone mouths off at me in Thai because I’m an ignorant American tourist, I could care less. Not because I don’t care that I’ve offended them, but because the words are meaningless to me.

    For the Christian readers, I spent 6 and a half years as a pastor and I can tell you right now that the “corrupt communication” that the Bible says not to let out of our mouths is not “cussing” but anything that does not provide, “what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) The contrast in the verse provides the definition.

    Better still, In Matthew 5:22, Jesus Himself says, “I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” “Raca” is a base insult meaning roughly “stupid idiot” in ancient Aramaic. In essence, it was perhaps parallel to our “A**hole.” “You fool” is far more polite language, but the meaning is essentially the same. Jesus points out that it is the intent of the heart–the meaning behind the language–that matters, not the particular word that is used.

    The most hurtful things that have ever been said to me were not said by the colorfully-tongued stranger I accidentally cut off on the freeway. No, the most hurtful things were said by people who would never ever, ever, ever utter profanity, but still are able to cut deeply with their “nice words.” It is not the words that hurt, but the intent of the person who said them and the ideas and meanings that they communicate. A person can say, “F*** you, a**hole!” or icily say “Oh… hi. It’s you.” to me and be equally hurtful. Actually, the icy comment or even the dirty look (still communication…) usually hurts worse.

    So here then is the question: if it is wrong to use profanity because it can be hurtful or offensive, than should all language that is hurtful or offensive be eliminated? Personally, I find “jerk” equally offensive to any others that have been mentioned here. To a first-grader, “poop-head” can be devastating. The meaning communicated is the problem and to change that requires something other than language censorship.

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  179. Tom -  August 10, 2010 - 10:43 pm

    Amazing that some comment that words cannot hurt someone. If you, with passion or vehemence, tell a child that he is a loser, wimp or worthless, it DOES hurt them. Do you think we “adults” are that much different?

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  180. Raven -  August 10, 2010 - 6:42 pm

    Well, my opinion of curse words is probably different from many in the world. Many people try to make excuses for cursing, which I don’t blame them because words are constantly changing and forming into our language. However, I personally feel its important to know what you are saying, whether it is a curse word socially or by dictionary terminology. Words believe it or not can hurt, and sometimes worse than physical contact. Words send messages through the membrane and sit in your memory. It causes depression and suicide and some mental diseases that can be deadlier than regular ones. Whether its a curse word or not, you should try not to use words to hurt another person. Since curse words tend to send curses to others by terminology I try not to use them. I try not to call people stupid even though its not a curse word.

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  181. Robert -  August 10, 2010 - 9:34 am

    It’s kind of funny that so many people have taken issue with the statement, “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.” And then they self-righteously aregue that words can, indeed, hurt. But the original poster said, harm,” not “hurt.” These are not the same thing. Anytime you get your nose out of joint, you can claim to have been hurt. But harm is something different entirely. And if harm comes to you as a consequence of your being hurt, then the words are not the cause; you choosing to be “hurt ” by them is. You would think that people who appoint themselves arbiters of words and their effects would be a little more meticulous about them.

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  182. Adriana -  August 10, 2010 - 8:47 am

    Sorry But can someone tell me what is that famously “c” word, and what does it mean? please

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  183. Doug -  August 10, 2010 - 6:22 am

    Words, by themselves, HOLD NO POWER WHATSOEVER!! They inherently hold no power to hurt or to heal. They are given the power by those who interperate what they hear or read. They may convey a thought or a feeling that is truly based in hate or love or what have you but the words, all by themselves, hold nothing. If you doubt this, sound out a passage written in another language and see what you experience. If it is a spoken passage, you may glean the meaning from the passion with which the words are spoken but without that interaction, you will get nothing. A rose by any other name….

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  184. FERGUS -  August 10, 2010 - 5:16 am

    The person who posted the item about the origin in the Crimean War is off base. That theory (For Use of Carnal Knowledge) has been offered with several different circumstances of origin but none have been confirmed to be factually true.

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  185. carmelita -  August 10, 2010 - 3:30 am

    uttering the bad words so often tends to loose its meaning, how you say and use it is another, not knowing the meaning of the word is a diff story.

    if a word is taken as such…then there should be no need for Byron, Shakespeare and the lots :)

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  186. Heather -  August 10, 2010 - 3:19 am

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”
    Really?
    So..
    “I’m breaking up with you”
    doesn’t hurt you?
    “Your mother died in a car accident”
    doesn’t hurt you?
    “You have severe cancer and will die within 2 weeks”
    doesn’t hurt you?
    “I HATE YOU! I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN! YOU’RE THE WORST PARENTS EVER!”
    doesn’t hurt you?

    By the same reasoning, words cannot make you feel good either.
    So..
    “I love you”
    doesn’t make you feel good?
    “You’re awesome.”
    doesn’t make you feel good?
    “Will you marry me?”
    doesn’t make you feel amazing?
    “I want you.”
    doesn’t make you feel… in the mood?
    “I’m gonna punch you!”
    doesn’t scare you? (depends what they look like, though)
    “Hey, I really liked your [insert something you've done here, e.g. painting, book, essay].”
    doesn’t make your day?

    THINK…

    and swearing’s just swearing. No big deal.
    F***! SH**!
    aren’t really bad.
    But the C-word, the racist word beginning with N and other words like that are horrible and shouldn’t be used. Not that that stops people from using them.

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  187. Ben Sugg -  August 4, 2010 - 7:07 pm

    The Only thing that have against curse, cuss, or swear words is the fact that, more often than not, it shows how small of a vocabulary some people have. I’ve heard many people that repeat the type of words mentioned because they don’t have any other words to describe it with.

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  188. Ben Sugg -  August 4, 2010 - 7:07 pm

    The Only thing that have against curse, cuss, or swear words is the fact that, more often than not, it shows how small of a vocabulary some people have. I’ve heard many people that repeat the type of words mentioned because they don’t have any other words to describe it with

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  189. MikeBritt -  August 4, 2010 - 4:44 pm

    Julie on August 4, 2010 at 9:39 am
    My teacher in college had a strict policy of no foul language in class. She posted a saying, “Profanity is the attempt of an uneducated mind to express itself.”
    I have to agree with that saying. If a person is an eloquent speaker, they will find an appropriate way to express themselves without offending other people.

    -THAT’S RIGHT-F’ING-ON JULES! (I’m sarcastic, of course, but)…Your teacher was correct, and in every sense of it. If a person were more intelligent, either by way of their own studies, or by way of a higher level of being forced-taught, they’d have NO NEED to be cuss.

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  190. Julie -  August 4, 2010 - 9:39 am

    My teacher in college had a strict policy of no foul language in class. She posted a saying, “Profanity is the attempt of an uneducated mind to express itself.”
    I have to agree with that saying. If a person is an eloquent speaker, they will find an appropriate way to express themselves without offending other people.

    Reply
  191. Michael -  August 4, 2010 - 6:40 am

    ‘Just a thought’- Since when are these words ‘indefinable?’

    The ‘f-word’ and the ‘c-word,’ which are generally regarded as the two worst words in the english language, yet they are easily definable and have been in our language for many years.

    The ‘c-word’ is of latin origin, and many women who wished to rid their vocabulary of the word ‘vagina’ (meaning ‘a sheath for a man’s sword’) as they did not wish to be recognised as property of men, used the ‘c-word.’

    The ‘f-word’ comes from the abbreviation of Forbidden Use of Carnal Knowledge, as in the Crimean War (1853-1856,) soldiers in camp were forbidden sexual intercourse with local women and, if caught, would be stamped with F.U.C.K. as a method of disgracing perpetrators.

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  192. Melodi -  August 4, 2010 - 1:43 am

    Yes, RKZ FTC…it begins to show your stupidity. Not everyone is comfortable with ‘swear, curse, or cuss’ words. If one must use vulgarity to get one’s point across, you truly show your education and morals, or the lack thereof

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  193. Dillan -  August 3, 2010 - 10:18 pm

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken”

    - I pity the person who said this…really do.. Words are powerful…it could harm and bless other people…

    whatever is in your thought, becomes your words
    whatever your words say, it becomes your action
    whatever your action is, it becomes your character
    whatever becomes your character, turns to be your destiny

    Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks… Its a reflection of your inner personality and your heart…people will smell the stink of your inner being through the words that you say…

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  194. Jason -  August 3, 2010 - 8:22 pm

    “No one can be harmed by what is spoken”?

    Try telling that to all the people who died in the holocost. Hitler didn’t kill every single one personally, but his words incited enough hate in other people.

    A word or words may not directly do any physical harm, but the spoken and written word have resulted in countless deaths throughout history. Martin Luther’s 95 theses resulted in religious wars throughout Europe and the creation of a entirely new belief system independent of the Catholic Church.

    A man with a gun can kill a few people, a man with a microphone can kill millions.

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  195. Cil -  August 3, 2010 - 1:20 pm

    Silver Fang: “No one can be harmed by what is spoken.” That’s one of the most ignorant statements I’ve ever read. And your hope is that the f-word can be spoken freely in 50 years? I’m all for freedom of speech, but you have some f’ed up “hopes”.

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  196. Just a thought -  August 3, 2010 - 12:45 pm

    I would love to sit down with the person that obviously does not believe in the Bible. I tend to agree with you on the religion, ritual, cult behavior of people, but I would challenge anyone to prove the historic word of the Bible, in it’s original language, to be in error. If they or anyone else could do this, they would be a billionaire. One should not put in writing such foolish statements without having done the research.

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  197. Just a thought -  August 3, 2010 - 12:37 pm

    I find it ironic that people that are interested in vocabulary site defend the use of such sophomoric language. Maybe if you stay on the site long enough you may learn enough new words so that you can express yourself without having to use such indefinable words.

    p.s. If words can never hurt anybody then I guess the whole “verbally abused” thing is just a “hoax”

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  198. Cornelius Lambshank -  July 28, 2010 - 2:08 pm

    Language as communication obviously differs through the many variables of human existence, countries, dialects, fonts and every other minor aspect of conveying information. What is beautiful and overwhelming about words is the magnitude of choices we have to convey this information. However, Intention plays a much more important part in communication than the words used, speaking face to face I could tell a person how much I enjoy their company and how fond I am of them, yet say it in such a manner that would make it seem as if I had defecated in their bed.
    Granted certain words have a shocking gravity to them that we as a society have granted them, thus meaning if such words are uttered they are used so to give power to a statement or insult, it is not the curse words that insults us, it’s the implication that the user feels the need to make a point with such unabashed vigour.

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  199. Regular Joe -  July 25, 2010 - 11:46 pm

    @Anonymous Evaluator on July 15, 2010 at 10:37 pm: A most excellently redundant post! Excellent!

    @screwart on July 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm: I fully agree with your post. Very eloquently done. :P

    @Ivstin on July 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm: I feel that anything posted after your post, even my post, is redundant. You have said all there is to say in a concise, clear and non-offensive manner. If people don’t get it after that…they’re hopeless. Most excellent.

    Geez…is the world going soft?

    Get it straight people! It’s all about context, respect and a dash of discretion.

    I’m a Caucasian canuck living in China.

    In my daily life, I witness the weirdest, most incomprehensibly unbelievable things and I think to myself “Holy S–t! Wouldja look at that!” or sometimes when the situation is so inane that to properly convey the degree of absurdity, it is almost obligatory to use the perennial favorite “How/What the f–k!?!?” and if I happen to be with any of my foreigner friends, male or female, I say it aloud. So far, none of my friends think any less of me or have ever felt insulted/repulsed/angered/disgusted/belittled/outraged/**insert feeling or emotion here**, by my use of the F or S-word. My comments didn’t even faze them even though they contained the abominable, dreaded, **banish-you-to-burn-forever-in-the-fiery-depths-of-hell-if-u-dare-utter-it** S-word (the S can be substituted for a host of other letters).

    With all that being said…I am willing to bet that at least half of those same friends would feel at least one of the above-mentioned feelings/emotions if I were to use the F, or S-word in a different context with a completely different meaning behind it, eg: “Hey! You’re such a s–theel!” or “What’s your problem? What the f–k is wrong with you?” and “Holy f–king s–t, you are one f–king s–t for brains moron!”

    I must say that whether I’m with friends or strangers, I do use discretion in my use of profanity. Of my friends I know what I can or can’t say around each one of them and out of respect for them I try my best to not offend anyone.

    People who have even just a modicum of social etiquette coupled with a modicum of common sense know what to say and when to say it.

    I do have enough social etiquette to know when and where to use profanity therefore you would never catch me swearing around children and senior citizens. My personal reasoning behind this is that children are like sponges, soaking up and repeating everything they hear and are also much easier to influence than older people as for senior citizens, they have lived longer, had tougher times in life and have worked harder than myself and, once again, out of respect for those facts I refrain from the use of profanity.

    Words are just words. How about the N-word? Often used as a derogatory term for dark skinned people, mostly Blacks. If a Caucasian uses the N-word around Blacks, you can bet that seconds later there WILL be trouble…This is the scene: After having beat you to an unrecognizable pulp for having the cohones to use the N-word, the Black dude turns to his Black friend and says “Hey, mah N-word, let’s get out of here!”

    Uh oh, I smell hypocrisy…

    As for myself, I am not offended by profanity, the honest to goodness truth is that they’re just words, only you, yes, ONLY YOU control how you feel after someone says them, nobody else. Are you going to let someone control your emotions, feelings and your general well-being just by simply saying a few words…that would be very sad, pathetic and humiliating for you, in my opinion.

    So the moral of this story is:

    People should realize that most everything that can be said and/or done has a time and a place, including profanity and that if you are easily perturbed by words, the problem may not be the person swearing but instead, the problem may be with you.

    ps: I find it amusing that the people who use quotes from the various religions in their posts expect us to take them seriously when they never provide tangible, real evidence instead only providing quotes from some scripture or wherever.

    HEY RELIGIOUS NUTS, YOUR OPINIONS ARE MOOT SINCE YOUR MINDS HAVE ALREADY BEEN HIJACKED AND TAINTED BY THE NONSENSICAL BS IN YOUR RELIGIOUS TEXTS. DANGEROUSLY LOW SELF-ESTEEM LEVELS QUITE OFTEN LEAD TO A WEAK MIND, LEAVING IT VULNERABLE AND OPEN TO HIJACKING.

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  200. Leif Evans -  July 25, 2010 - 10:51 pm

    I agree with Charlie Gosh in that use of swear words often indicates laziness or lack of colourful ( and hey , there are so many ) words to choose from in the English Language , often a symptom of having not ever read books , and to this I add that lazy grammar , i.e to say ‘I done it’ rather than ‘I did it’ or ‘the car come up the street ‘ instead of ‘the car came up the street’ is to my ears as an educated English speaker as much of an insult to our language as words which are considered profane being used casually in day to day life . I have no religious basis for my view , and merely feel that its a shame so many people have such a feeble command of what is one of the richest human languages on the planet .

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  201. Jeremy -  July 25, 2010 - 10:41 pm

    If you study out the “F word” (the fact we have had to use such childish phrases to discuss the word is pathetic, really.) you will find that it is unequivocally the single greatest word to ever evolve in human language. I studied it out because it annoyed me how it was used in so many often contradictory contexts. It turns out that they all fit.The word is a marvel due to it’s simplicity and versatility.

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  202. Charlie Gosh -  July 25, 2010 - 8:12 pm

    Using profanity is simply another way of stating, “My mind is too befuddled — or lazy — to say what I actually mean, so I’ll just take this shortcut.”
    Knowing how to use language to clearly communicate an idea is vital to progress and social interaction. Stooping to profanity halts true communication.
    Profanity does, however, have value when someone who NEVER uses it suddenly blurts out something surprising. That shock value is unavailable to anyone who swears regularly.
    And for women: being able to cuss like a sailor does not make you the equal of men, it means you’re capable of copying one of their lowest values.

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  203. iain -  July 25, 2010 - 5:38 pm

    Interestingly the ‘f***” taboo on tv was broken, in the UK, as early as 1964 by the distinguished critic Kenneth Tynan, in conversation with novelist Mary McCarthy on the live BBC show ‘That Was the Week That Was’; having once been shattered, the taboo was gone and British tv has never looked back – meaning that at best, British television drama can and does reflect the manner real people, in real situations, actually speak. The strange verbal contortions US network tv goes through in order to follow the FCC’s dictats is frankly embarassing and explains why so many people turn to non-commercial cable channels for grown-up drama.

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  204. Ivstin -  July 25, 2010 - 3:37 pm

    Interestingly enough, words are symbols of thoughts that we use to communicate those thoughts. As any married couple can tell you, “what is sent is not always what is received.” Meaning that what you say does not mean the person who heard you understood it in the manner you intended it to be received. That being said, “cussin’” is the same.

    You, the receiver of these words and characters, place meaning from your personal experience, definitions, and (better or worse) moral adaptation. If I drop the F-bomb, you, the receiver, create a judgement based upon your aforementioned attributes. None of these attributes, however, have anything to do with me or my speaking the F-bomb. From my lips came a sound, to your ear a sound was received. Your mind, and conscious choice-maker within, defined the words as you wish to receive them.

    I choose not to place emphasis on these words when I receive them. It helps me “get along” with those strangers in the retail and educator world that I would otherwise have no reason to speak with again. In this way, through tolerance, love, and appreciation, we can create more harmony.

    Rather than worry about asking others to put a “filter” on their words, why not alter your reception of the words, thereby creating a more harmonious and everlasting peace within all. You cannot change what others will do, but you can change how you feel about it.

    “Pro Regnum Aura.”

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  205. John -  July 25, 2010 - 1:34 pm

    Has anyone ever heard the words “I think we should just be friends?” Did it hurt? What about the letters that our soldiers got during WWII that started with the words “Dear John” or the words in a telegram that informed someone that a loved one had died in battle. Just a few examples to think about. What about Mein Kampf sp?. That was just a bunch of written words, right? Words can incite people to commit horrible acts. Words can act as a spark placed to gunpowder. Words can also be wonderful! Words can express the gamut of human emotion and produce all of the good or bad consequences of that communication. You can try to wall yourself off so that words don’t affect you but the world at large doesn’t operate that way. I think, if you are truly unaffected by any words, that you are hurting more than you are willing to admit to yourself.

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  206. Jang -  July 24, 2010 - 7:02 am

    i’d rather don’t speak than do it just for the sake of it done. words have been too common that some human forgets that it is among the main reasons signifying our advancement to other species.

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  207. Harold -  July 20, 2010 - 10:46 am

    One must remember, words do start wars, like the one you guys are having now.

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  208. Ray Butler -  July 19, 2010 - 5:06 am

    Ah, swearing and the Irish? Bono would hardly be a typical example, but we certainly do it all the time; it simply embellishes our conversations. There is no offensiveness when there is no aggression or maliciousness implied. In the right hands (sorry, mouths) it can be hilarious – check out any of our stand-up comedians; and BTW, it cannot be a coincidence that there is a profession where we are definitely over-represented. We have a long and proud pedigree in literary “swearing” – check out Flann O’Brien, Joyce and so on. None of these people were “a little deficient on the intellectual side”, as “harvey” above seems to believe. Harv, open your mind a little.

    As one of my mates from Dublin wrote off-handedly in an Linux “talk” session to me – it was a perfectly encapsulating quote so I saved it before the session ended and it fell into the command line oblivion –
    “I regard it as quintessential Irish to swear profusely yet intelligently, and at the same time indulge in wanton & random acts of verbal hooliganism.”
    This chap is without doubt one of the most loqacious and eloquent individuals I know, and that statement fits him, and us, rather well.

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  209. MOHAYRIX -  July 19, 2010 - 4:43 am

    I read enough. Anyone thinking that words can’t hurt look at what others are correcting you with. I killed two people with my words. As a street preacher I sometimes use words that are considered cuss words as they have many meanings depending on the context used. The f and s words alone have published usage with examples. Example the f & s words have at least 50 definations each. Educated people understand this and use the words to speak with the uneducated.

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  210. schmoo -  July 18, 2010 - 5:13 pm

    I don’t think that anyone has to swear. It seems such a cowardly thing to do and i know that it CAN hurt people. Anyone who thinks that words do not have the potential to hurt are naive in my opinion.
    maybe letting a word or two out in frustration or whatever is ok, but to swear at someone with the intention of offending orhurting them is despicable.

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  211. JfromI -  July 17, 2010 - 12:24 pm

    Kerri: Great point! It’s all in how you use those words.

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  212. Nomatee -  July 17, 2010 - 6:51 am

    Words are expressions of you thoughts,words and actions .These reveal your true character.Character is a road to destiny.Words spoken can never be taken back.Their effects last a lifetime and is passed on from generation to generation.Words do not change their meanings are fixed so choose them carefully so they can have positive effects to uplift humankind

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  213. harvey -  July 17, 2010 - 2:59 am

    swearing is:

    1. immature
    2. something you say when you cant think of anything intelligent to say ie. if you are a little deficient on the intellectual side
    3. a bad habit
    4. DEFINTLY not eloquent – have you ever heard of something so strange? unless the meaning of eloquent has been dramatically altered. (re. RKZ)

    WOTEVA!!!!!!

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  214. Ian Colley -  July 17, 2010 - 1:08 am

    ‘Words don’t hurt anyone’….except the reputation of the utterer.

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  215. snowdrop -  July 16, 2010 - 5:21 pm

    It’s true that some words are just words. However, I must say that I’m getting heartily sick of some of them.

    At such times it strikes me that a lot of people have a very limited range of vocabulary. Everything is either sexy or f***ing or “like..uh” or “ya know what I mean” or any number of other meaningless collections of sounds. And sometimes it’s quite difficult to establish what the other person is actually talking or writing about–since this applies also to constant misspellings or misuse of words. Maybe we older folks just can’t get used to the present non-language aspect of hearing/reading.

    As for “Oh, my God”: anything that isn’t going quite right is prefaced by this as if it were a total disaster. I’ve heard one-year-olds say it and they can’t possibly know what it means. Surely this is fostered even more by the limited language and assemblage of letters that are the forms of correspondence in e-mail, texting, on Twitter, etc. This really shows the generation gap more than ever before.

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  216. Kerri -  July 16, 2010 - 2:30 pm

    Words are just words like guns are just metal. Some words are just like the framing of a house and will build something strong and wonder full. Some are just scrape that will get tossed, and some get turned to weapons that are flaunted around like a 9mm and will cause horrifying damage when they hit someone.

    Words are one of the easiest ways we say our thoughts, and one of the easiest ways they are understood. If people just spent a little more time thinking about what a word actually meant they might not use it so much. There are so many little things people say that mean nothing. I know so many atheist (and agnostics) that say Oh my God. And I don’t know why, they don’t have a god, so who is this god of theirs?

    Also there is nothing adult about swearing. I have never heard my mother swear.

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  217. screwart -  July 16, 2010 - 1:31 pm

    The thing that seems to often be overlooked here is CONTEXT. It’s the reason the FCC has such a hard time defining profanity and bad language is because it is very subjective. F*ck and S**t are just part of american english like dude or the n-word. They have many meanings depending on who says them and in what context. They aren’t words I use in my everyday conversation, but I don’t get offended just by hearing them, unless they are used in an offensive manner (which of course is wholly dependent on my own subjective perception)

    The debate of whether words hurt is silly. Of course they can hurt, but they don’t have to be curse words. To use an earlier example: “Ex.: A man says “S**t” it doesn’t hurt anyone. But if the same man were to say “You look and smell like s**t!” then that might be hurtful to someone.” and if a the same man were to say “You look and smell like human excrement!” then that might be hurtful to someone too.

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  218. The Old man -  July 16, 2010 - 1:24 pm

    If words cannot hurt, Why do we have laws against slander? How would you feel if you heard your grandmother, mother, or your young child using those words. (against you?) It is cultural. It can be disrespectful. It can be hateful. Sometimes a gesture can have the same impact (middle finger extended). It has to do with intent. It is used to create an effect on the lister or listers. If these types of words cannot hurt, why use them in the first place? There would be no point. It all boils down to feelings. We (our culture) puts significance to the words spoken. A person who does not understand the language would likely care less unless someone translates the words. Who it is directed at will also increase the significance of the impact of the words. Obviously this question has stimulated a lot of interesting discussion. The WORDS in this forum have impact and significance as you can see!

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  219. Randal Millbank -  July 16, 2010 - 12:13 pm

    I do agree that words do not physically harm a person, but I personally feel the use of profanity shows a lack of knowledge and language skills. It takes more skill to illicit an emotional response from a person without the use of profanity, and by using such skills you are able to place an image in one’s mind that is lasing and has a deeper impact.

    Reply
  220. errol_niffler -  July 16, 2010 - 12:11 pm

    If words cannot hurt then I guess words cannot help either. Why bother saying “I love you”?

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  221. Cincinnati Steve -  July 16, 2010 - 12:06 pm

    I disagree that cuss words are just words. There is something in the human psyche that differentiates these types of expressions – sometimes there is nothing that expresses a sentiment better than a cuss word … just try to get by with “darn” when you smash your thumb with a hammer. Also, it is interesting that for some individuals with Tourette Syndrome, it is the socially unacceptable cuss words that they are afflicted with and have no control over.

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  222. Laurie -  July 16, 2010 - 12:00 pm

    I didn’t read absolutely every single comment posted above, but I could have skipped all of them and only read Mel’s July 16, 2010 at 10:48 am
    The suggestion “And to anyone who says words don’t hurt people, I dare you to go home and tell your 3-year-old child “You’re stupid and evil” every day for a few years” is great. I’m terrified to think that someone out there might actually try this experiment because people never cease to amaze me, but I still have some faith that most won’t of course because you know that what Mel says is so true. No caring, intelligent parent would dream of saying such things to their 3 year old, proof that most of us do really believe that words can and do hurt and have lasting sometimes life long affects even if in a debate such as this we want to play devil’s advocate and argue for the pro-cursing side.

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  223. Vixey -  July 16, 2010 - 11:31 am

    Personally, I do not like swear words. For me, I just find it rather vile. I wouldn’t go as far as banning people from swearing because it is a form of release when angry, but I don’t like hearing someone swearing for the fun of it.
    And no, people who say “words don’t hurt” are pretty oblivious. Words obviously can hurt mentally.

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  224. Mel -  July 16, 2010 - 10:48 am

    Don’t blame Christianity for cursing. Romans and Greeks cursed each other to Hades long before Jesus Christ ever showed up.

    And to anyone who says words don’t hurt people, I dare you to go home and tell your 3-year-old child “You’re stupid and evil” every day for a few years. Before long the kid will believe you and will be reacting just as a stupid and evil child should act. Oh, and she’ll be scarred for life. I’ve known plenty of people like that. That’s not being a poof; it’s just not knowing any better than to believe the adults you rely on to take care of you.

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  225. papillo -  July 16, 2010 - 10:43 am

    Words don’t hurt people.

    People hurt people.

    They can use words, sticks, stones, bombs, or anything else that happens to be available. They can use swear words, curse words, profanity, or even sweet-sounding poetry.

    Without malice, all these potential weapons lose their menace. With malice, anything can be used to harm.

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  226. feiseldad -  July 16, 2010 - 10:31 am

    WOW, the comments are flowing… like diarrhea of the mouth.
    seems like it’s time to flush…

    I find it interesting that the expletive is called the f “BOMB.”

    I’ve never known bombs not to be harmful.

    And I’ve never heard Bono’s expletive referred to as the f “feather.”

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  227. Bygoner -  July 16, 2010 - 10:30 am

    And if we use censored words like darn or heck, it’s basically the same thing! “Damn” “hey!” “darn” “okay.” switching does not make it any better.

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  228. mrs.peapod -  July 16, 2010 - 10:26 am

    jeez. cuss words. i use them in certain circles and think they diffuse physical violence. we’re so constrained in our “civilized” society that we cannot even put a hand on a student’s shoulder without the threat of a lawsuit. physical response is forbidden – which is usually fine with me but there are times when a meeting in a back alley with some pedophile, rapist, or abuser would be appropriate. burglars often sue their victims if they’re “injured on the job” and our courts sanction these lawsuits. we’ve gone from the sublime to the absurd in America. sometimes it just feels good to get it all out.

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  229. TruthSpeaker -  July 16, 2010 - 10:08 am

    It should be emphasized, as alluded to in the article, the reason Christianity considered cursing sinful was because it expressed malicious desire by one man against another when in fact we should all be united under God. There was no list burned into stone tablets, it’s pretty general. Calling someone a jerk isn’t any better than calling someone a motherf*cking c*nt. ‘Curse words’ are just some bullsh*t that people came up with to avoid the hard work of actually adhering to religious doctrine.

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  230. Saltgirl -  July 16, 2010 - 10:01 am

    What the words do for us? Can they harm our souls?
    Words of profanity give us a sense of power when we are feeling out of control.
    They give us a sense of belonging to adulthood…being able to feel like we are a part of that alluring forbidden and rebellious world that exists where grown-ups are.
    We CHOOSE them for an inner purpose or punctuation.
    We must not be fooled into thinking words are harmless. They carry great weight.
    Take the high road.
    Your soul will thank you!

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  231. My name is blah -  July 16, 2010 - 9:59 am

    May I remind you all that you are arguing with people you can’t even see or really communicate with through a an artificial and ineffective mode of communication and that the majority of people on this site are spending their looking up words, which is the main purpose of this site, therefore this is an isolated argument that will largely go unnoticed and will serve no other purpose but to vent your opinions?

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  232. AR -  July 16, 2010 - 9:57 am

    I noticed a lot of people trying to defend swearing, why? Swearing is never upbuilding and shows a lack of self control. I suppose if it’s a habit for someone, it’s only natural for them to post an argument justifying swearing…

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  233. Nora -  July 16, 2010 - 9:54 am

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken” well this half makes sense, because it seems to me that you can choose to be offended by these words or not. However, you fail to realize that it makes a big difference whether some jerk which you have no respect for calls you a f**king idiot or if your dear friend calls you a f**king idiot. It is hard to ignore certain insults if they are coming from a person who’s opinion you value. It all comes down to the amount of respect you have for the person swearing or cussing at you.

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  234. tigerstripes -  July 16, 2010 - 9:54 am

    Bono sets a standard for millions of teens when he drops the f-bomb on tv. While I don’t mind cursing in and of itself, I’ve encountered many, usually young, people who only have that one adjective. The word has permeated their brain so thoroughly that they use it every fifth word they say and are bordering on a case of Tourette’s. It’s all just fun and games until you have to sit next to them in a restaurant, then it’s pretty tiresome, and a giant flag of stupidity.

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  235. superman -  July 16, 2010 - 9:50 am

    wow this whole censorship thing is bypasses pretty easy i didnt think my comment would post xD

    Reply
  236. Doug -  July 16, 2010 - 9:38 am

    If words are just words and cannot cause harm…jf, as most of you say, this court ruling is a good thing in getting rid of a vague law…if people should be free to say what they want…

    Then how come everyone, including this website’s editors are not spelling out the words in question? Just a thought.

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  237. bo -  July 16, 2010 - 9:37 am

    well all yall that ‘r cussin’ and all
    are loosers cause’ ya can’t dink of
    sumtin else ta say

    Reply
  238. EW -  July 16, 2010 - 9:27 am

    I believe the people who are saying that words do actually hurt people are being too inclusive. When words like s**t and f**k are used by themselves they don’t hurt people. They just don’t! However, when they are included in a group of other words to elicit or provoke a certain response or emotion then they can do damage. Ex.: A man says “S**t” it doesn’t hurt anyone. But if the same man were to say “You look and smell like s**t!” then that might be hurtful to someone.

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  239. superior being -  July 16, 2010 - 9:19 am

    The blathering retards going on about this globally important issue apparently have little to no self-control. ‘Silver Fang’ was half correct by saying, “No one can be harmed by what is spoken.” What s/he left out was the operative phrase, “unless that person allows themselves to be harmed.” Or, as in a line from a song, “They can’t hurt you unless you let them.” Simply stated, if you are hurt/offended/destroyed by the words coming out of someone’s mouth, it is because you choose to be. Further, assuming harm is the intent of the speaker, you have just given that person power over your well-being, by acquiescing to their words. Pretty stupid if you ask me. If it were a knife or gun being held on you, okay. But a word? C’mon.

    Although I agree with ‘Sarah’, I will reverse that stance for the sake of argument. “Sarah,” I say, “you are a ***.” “Oh really?” Sarah replies. “w/e, dude.” “Um um.. and you’re a wh***..” “No, I am not a prostitute; I am a karate instructor.” “Er.. uh, oops.” To round out the argument, let’s say Sarah then delivers a roundhouse kick to my head. The police show up. Who will they arrest? “But.. but..” Sarah protests, “he called me a ‘k***’.” To which the officer replies, “You are a karate instructor, you should be able to better control yourself.”

    Exactly.

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  240. Chelsea -  July 16, 2010 - 9:18 am

    Words just words? I am not so convinced.

    In Proverbs 12:18, it says that: Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

    I know words are not just words and I want to be careful what I say and how I say it because words to affect others whether we realize it or not. :)

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  241. Penny -  July 16, 2010 - 9:15 am

    Brits don’t use the c word all the time.
    Scotland is in the U.K. by the way.
    If words don’t hurt ask Gordon Brown if he regrets saying BIGOT!
    Some Spanish people use their c word and j word too.It depends on how well you are educated and your temperment too. I’ve known an Englishman for 45years and NEVER heard him swear.That’s down to good upbringing.

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  242. Borg -  July 16, 2010 - 9:08 am

    The problem with overusing the f-word is — we could lose it! It could cease to have any effect. And then what would we do without this taboo, yea almost sacred, word? Life would be so much poorer if this precious word loses its power. How would we start fights in bars? Or indicate to our kids that this time we really DO mean it? I say we ration it very strictly — in the media and in daily life. Once an hour, no more. This could be a new world movement — save the F-BOMB!

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  243. mike -  July 16, 2010 - 9:02 am

    by c-bomb, do you mean “cracker?” just curious.

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  244. heather -  July 16, 2010 - 8:30 am

    Dear dictionary.com, why does it say “f*** you dad” in HUGE, I mean gigantic, letters to the right of this post? (Beneath the twitterness.) You probably won’t post my comment for actually writing out the f-word, but come on people, seriously. Please look into that.

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  245. Juperno2 -  July 16, 2010 - 8:06 am

    The use of “curse words” shows a lack of intelligence. There are many other words in the English language that one can use instead.

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  246. Loopy -  July 16, 2010 - 7:59 am

    One of the big questions is what exactly makes up a swear word, and of those words that are classified as being rude, why exactly are they rude? Surely ‘it’s f***ing hot’ refers neither to the act of copulation nor is it designed to be insulting. It’s simply another way of saying ‘very’, whereas to call someone a ‘f***ing idiot’ is cleary rude and insulting. Yet both are the same word. If a boy is referred to by someone as a ‘little b**er’, there is probably little reference to the child being a s**ite, but to being ‘a lad’ because this word has a number of meanings. If that’s the case for ‘b***er’ (and this is OK), why can’t ‘f***ing ‘ also have multiple, meanings (which it already has, by the way)?

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  247. TJ -  July 16, 2010 - 7:59 am

    Ever wish you could re-tract an email? Words really are just words. Spoken and written in about a million different tones and contextes. Is that a word? Anyway, I wish I learned Spanish and took the time to learn another language or culture for that matter. I also wish I was articulate enough to speak without swearing. But there is a lot of comedy relief in using the right curse word at the right time and I do feel a little buzz when I tell someone to go F themselves. That being said, I did get an eye-opener when I overheard my 8 year old say, “F*ck these leggos S*ck-Ass…whose the dumb-a** that invented these things…or something like that. Surprised I haven’t seen more comments from our Rapper artists too. I presume words mean a little bit to what they are contributing. Words are the characters that make up our character.

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  248. Tearlach -  July 16, 2010 - 7:56 am

    I think people have the right to use whatever language they choose – however if they choose to demonstrate their lack of vocabulary by using e.g. the Fword followed by “ing” as an adjective we should pity them

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  249. Mark -  July 16, 2010 - 7:36 am

    Words have no more power than the power we assign them.
    Different groups of people assign powers differently, and regardless of wether you associate with those groups, you still have to take their Word-values into account. Tailor to the common denominator, and such.

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  250. Joan Wilkinson -  July 16, 2010 - 7:22 am

    Sometimes you just have to vent your feelings and cannot help but let slip – it makes you feel better but some people have no regard for children or decent people and swear for no reason. It only makes them look stupid and you immediately assume they are thick as short planks because they can’t find proper words to describe things.

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  251. Concerned -  July 16, 2010 - 6:59 am

    I have found that a great many people who use profanity sprinkled through general conversation do not have the vocabulary skills to use proper grammar. In addition, I was rather appalled to hear our current president state on a TV address that we needed to “kick their ass”. I feel that the president of our country should be above that kind of talk and never have heard a president in a televised address use this type of language. This helps contribute to the moral decay currently taking over society. Before you blast me for this, let me say I do swear but and do not get offended by it but think there are situations where it should not be used.

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  252. Dionysia -  July 16, 2010 - 6:59 am

    @ Sarah:

    The “c-bomb” is not at all acceptable in the UK. Now who’s being “overly presumptuous and insulting”?

    Also, what is it with people using the phrases “f-bomb” and “c-bomb”?!

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  253. DannyBoy -  July 16, 2010 - 6:43 am

    “I say all those words all the time because, quite frankly, who cares? Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”

    Really? Silver Fang must not have had a job or a relationship with anyone in any way to objectively say that. Our words have the power of life and death. I can’t cuss at my wife continually and just say, “those are just words, don’t worry about it”, or at my boss (who’d probably fire me) and give the same excuse. People who follow the philosophy of words not having meaning or purpose are kidding themselves. Use your words wisely and guard your tongue, as they have so much more power than you think.

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  254. viking -  July 16, 2010 - 6:27 am

    This site has been very colorful and useful. It used to be very plain and simple dictionary site. I would never expected to see bug pop up ads
    a few months ago. I wouold not swear when I see them but they certainly have enough effect than profain words. By the way, I rent several movies every week and I just pick them at random most of the times. After watching them, I got taken by surpris because those movies have corresponded or fortelled my mood. Or sometimes they leave some obscure clues to look for. I watched North by Northwest last night and Satyricon just a while ago.
    I have seen them more than a few times before but they feel different than before. Maybe I remember them wrong or with different understanding. Tonigh I am going to see the Sirocco. I have never seen this before. Watchin movies without any expectation might be very premitive communication form between image and a conscious thing.

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  255. CUPCAKE -  July 16, 2010 - 6:23 am

    not many people know that the F-bomb and S**t both came from acronyms
    For Using Carnal Knowledge (was used in court areas when giving citations), Store High In Transit (was used when shipping pure manure in frieght boats and to keep the methane gas from interferring with anything else)

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  256. Michael -  July 16, 2010 - 6:09 am

    It is well apparent that the original poster’s comment, “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken” has been thoroughly over-turned, but some points haven’t been addressed.

    For instance, it’s obvious that words hurt far more than just about anything else, outside the context of a Scrabble board or what’s floating in one’s Alphabet Soup. People seem to be arguing that cuss words are meaningless, as they are just ‘words’. That misses the whole point of cuss-words.

    Cuss/Curse/Swear words are what they are precisely because they are inappropriate. As soon as they stop being inappropriate, they loose their impact (and new cuss words are invented). And yes, this acknowledges that sometimes their use is meaningful precisely because if their inappropriate value. Comedy is one such instance, expressing rage is another. But even then, a subtle touch is vastly more impactful than too-casual use. (I think of the one time out of many years that I’ve heard Bill Cosby drop an f-bomb, vs. the innumerable times Martin Lawrence has)

    But in any event, anyone who uses inappropriate language shouldn’t be ignorant of the implications of their use of that language (and yes, sometimes it’s exactly why they use it).

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  257. Hi -  July 16, 2010 - 6:06 am

    Well said, ‘Anonymous Evaluator’.

    Thank you

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  258. Sonrisa196 -  July 16, 2010 - 5:56 am

    I have yet to hear any reference to inflection, insinuation, nuance, subtlety, intent, motivation, propriety, civility, and the list goes on and on. All being words of reasoning You have all made statements which, for the most part, are correct and voiced valid opinions, from your perspectives; however, it has been merely a debate on semantics. What of the skills and power of discernment, critical thinking, and diplomacy? What about rules of engagement for a society, but some fundamental, basic guidelines for civil interaction? We are not speaking of prudishness and rigidity but of simple “rules of engagement” so to speak. These are what we seem most to be losing rapidly in today’s society and which concern me the most. We have failed in imparting these skills to the youth of today to their needed extent. Yes, swearing, cussin’, and cursing have been around since the beginning of mankind, and will most likeley be so until the end and they do, and will always, have their place and time; however, when has each “civilization” not had their rules and guidelines of “civility”? Has it not been when these very basic fundamentals have fallen by the wayside that many a great civilization has fallen? For some, it has been to oblivion, for others to reconstruction. The debate has no “right” or “wrong” side, just a more, or less, persuasive side, but let us at least acknowledge what is at stake. If the simple, tenuous boundaries are seemingly becoming so indistinct, what is next to become of those that presently appear so seemingly distinct? How different is our extreme sporting or fighting from the “glory” days of the gladiator? What of the extreme sense of entitlement in this litigious day and age where no one is “at fault” and bears little responsibility for their actions? At what point will the line be drawn in this voyeuristic age of “reality” television when Big Brother is already watching very closely? Are these so seemingly unrelated issues or just in context of a much broader picture we are failing to perceive due to our shrinking tunnel vision? What is acceptable business practice and protocol in the midst of this economic meltdown which occurred because the “big boys” couldn’t discern between ethical and unethical practice? Ah yes, that’s right, they didn’t have to! Just food for thought … and may you all have a wonder-filled day.

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  259. Eric -  July 16, 2010 - 5:29 am

    I find it interesting that those whom we consider to ‘swear’ too often are typically those that haven’t developed enough of a decent vocabulary to more eloquently express what they’re feeling.

    It is almost depressing these days to listen to a conversation of young 20-somethings or children in their late teens. The lack of importance placed on basic speaking skills and of the English language itself is something our public schools should put more of a focus on.

    This is only compounded when they reach the workforce; specifically in business settings. What was considered sophomoric banter during their younger years is now childish. They typically spend the first few years of their young adult life simply trying to adjust. Most will argue this is normal behavior but there are also kids that come in who are very well-spoken; the latter in the less-often category.

    What everyone should take from this is simple. Swearing (or whatever alias you give it) is simply an easy way for someone to express themself through ‘colorful’ metaphors without using meaningful words to truly express their feelings or state of mind.

    Now, damn it, get off the internet and get back to work! :-)

    Eric

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  260. Cindy Small -  July 16, 2010 - 5:23 am

    It should only matter if you believe it.

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  261. Alan -  July 16, 2010 - 5:20 am

    Words can offend but they don’t hurt anyone unless you are that weak minded! It’s what you tell yourself that should matter!

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  262. Hi -  July 16, 2010 - 3:51 am

    As for the Irish and the C word it varies, though certainly it is more acceptable than somehwere in the US. When I was young I once went to my friend’s house and the family used the word freely without giving it a thought. And they were a perfectly normal family. But if I had gone home and used it I would have been dead man walking.

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  263. Hi -  July 16, 2010 - 3:49 am

    It depends on the culture and the company you’re in. I think the reason some people don’t like those words is that they are often used as a way of expressing aggression, sometimes to a level that others find uncomfortable.

    I don’t have a problem with those words but as a rule would only use them around friends because then everybody understands that there is no offence or aggression intended. In other groups and situations I think it’s best to keep it clean.

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  264. lunanoir -  July 16, 2010 - 2:45 am

    if words did no harm, then why is Mel Gibson being taken on from all sides, called racist etc etc etc…

    he was angry and he used bad negative words to try to hurt his ex, but… does that make him evil? or human?

    “if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut up” seems to be a good motto to live by.

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  265. Doug -  July 16, 2010 - 2:02 am

    Consider the difference between:

    “That episode of Seinfeld was f___n hilarious!”

    and

    “You are such a f___n idiot!”

    The issue is not so much about “profanity” so much as it is about intent. Words DO harm and words DO express. Please exercise temperance with your words in the same way you would alcohol and prescription drugs.

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  266. lucette -  July 16, 2010 - 1:44 am

    Words ARE NOT just words. Each word has a meaning, and each is important.

    But still, these words are insignificant if you use them in a way that you’re implying them to be insignificant. And no one can say which curse, swear, cuss words are the worst, either.

    And, just because a word’s meaning is bad, it means that that word is bad as well? So are you saying that even the word “swear” is a swear word just because it’s meaning is not that good?

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  267. Gabby Holmes -  July 16, 2010 - 1:41 am

    Seriously, stop saying that the c-word is accepted in the UK, it really really isn’t!

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  268. Howzit! -  July 16, 2010 - 1:31 am

    I enjoyed speed-reading the comments. Where did all you literate folks come from? I think most of you are young. I am old.

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  269. Harold -  July 16, 2010 - 1:00 am

    Amazing evaluation, Anonymous Evaluator!

    I hope it helped a lot of other readers as it did me. =)

    Reply
  270. Mary Mary -  July 16, 2010 - 12:59 am

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”
    To quote the living legend that is Cher:
    “Words are like weapons
    They wound sometimes”

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  271. Berry -  July 16, 2010 - 12:33 am

    Seriously? For all those who love saying such ugly words, by thinking that the future will be filled with these words, I’m seriously wishing u all to go burn in hell for all i care. U know why? because u dont want the world to be better, u dont have anyone to love u and everytime u curse or swear, u will be one step closer to being true. Dont believe me? well, next time when u get older, one word of those and no one will ever respect u or even talk to u.
    The world is corrupted enough. And people like u still want to make it worst. Sad, dont u think? (:

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  272. madhuri vurrinkala -  July 16, 2010 - 12:32 am

    Well articulated by Gary on July 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm.

    It is the disrespect and indecency with which words are said that causes to be offended or hurt.It is like a trend to use the words just like that without understanding the effect the abuse,curse or cuss may have.

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  273. Me -  July 15, 2010 - 11:56 pm

    Dont swear every bodies!!

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  274. M Madhusudan Menon -  July 15, 2010 - 11:51 pm

    At one level, it is correct to say words are just words. But, on another they are not. The speaker and the addressee would know the context whether it was intended to be frivolous or arouse the emotion. If it was frivolous then the addressee is just incidental in the context but if it hit the target like an arrow from the bow, then it is highly damaging and consequences quite heavy. If in a formal context you are using those words, they are really ‘meant’ and that is why either there is an instant retaliation or an apology from the ‘abuser’. If the words were just words, there would not have been any communication between people. In the same breath, I don’t mean all communication is effective.

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  275. Sarah -  July 15, 2010 - 11:26 pm

    Gary, you are overly presumptuous and insulting in one fell swoop. To say that people who swear should take into consideration the feelings of the people who happen to hear them swearing and then insult them by saying they likely can’t read is hypocritical.

    Profanity is only profane because of peoples’ perceptions, which is why the c-bomb is horrible in America but completely normal in the UK. People can’t be expected to know every minute detail of a person’s upbringing, so it is wiser to be cautious with swearing, and it is generally a crutch people rely on too heavily.

    Having said that, the rules on what is acceptable and what isn’t are very arbitrary. Why is it that crap is okay whereas sh** isn’t? They both mean the same thing, they both have the same amount of letters. There are far more important things to be concerned with in the world than some curse words.

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  276. Geoffrey -  July 15, 2010 - 11:05 pm

    This article about cursing is interesting but ill informed. The Egyptians were using curses from before 2000bc. The hebrews sabateans and many others also.In fact the Christians denaunced the use of cursing in the gospels and most other literature. God bless you all Geoffrey

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  277. Isha -  July 15, 2010 - 10:57 pm

    sticks and stones might break my bones, but it is words, that leave the deepest wounds, broken bones can be repaired, but the damage done with words is the worst. So language needs to be used very carefully, you never know who might take your cursing seriously.

    Reply
  278. Anonymous Evaluator -  July 15, 2010 - 10:37 pm

    I am going to quote a few users who have already posted on this blog in order to provide evidence for an evaluation, and would appreciate that everyone skimming this blog will give this a look.

    Now, the radical contrast in opinion here is interesting.
    There are the Pro-Cursers; those who support cursing in one or another, and the anti-cursers; who believe that the misuse of any words have serious effects.

    The Pro-Cursers here believe that words are just meaningless, they have no effect, because no one seems to care what they or others say about them and others, thus the mentality that it doesn’t hurt.

    “I say all those words all the time because, quite frankly, who cares? Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken. “(Silver Fang on July 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm)

    The Anti-cursers on the other hand believe the exact opposite, and that words are the universal method of communicating thoughts and feelings to others, thus the mentality that words have great meaning, at that how one goes about using them is important.

    “Here’s my reasoning: Words make up nearly the entirety of verbal communication. People communicate in order to tell other people what they’re doing, thinking, and feeling, etc., and as such, people are able to use words to evoke emotion” (Kevin Frey on July 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm)

    Now, from what has been written, the Pro-cursers, from what has been posted by them, it seems quite obvious that they do not care for the feelings and possibly the thoughts of others.
    (This pushes me to ask the question; why do they care about this blog anyways?)

    “Anyone harmed by words needs to HTFU and stop being such a puff.”
    (Matt on July 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm)

    this quote, posted considerably far into the blog replies, seems almost stereotypical of my descriptions of the pro-cursers above, but furthermore, demonstrates that some of the pro-cursers favor a survival-of-the-fittest attitude towards the topic, and probably other situations as well. Thus, if someone cares about what someone else is saying (in this case, the use of profane language) that they have no business in participation here.

    From what has been posted by the anti-cursers, it seems just as obvious on a level as the pro-cursers, that cursing has little to no place in verbal communication. What is more is that words have the power to strongly influence the feelings of others and how these people view them.

    “Words can indeed hurt, it may not hurt physically, but it hurts emotionally and psychologically. In fact, it is the emotional and psychological damage caused by hurtful words that is hardest to heal. Besides, the power of the spoken [and written] word must never be underestimated… many a war has broken out and much blood has been spilled over words (not all of which were curse or swear words, some were quite common, in fact).” (apple on July 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm)

    From this quote, it seems that the Anti-cursers favor a sensitive and caring attitude to what they say and how others around them feel.

    Now, in reference to the end portion of the quote, I can say that while the actions of others instigate conflict (the blockade on Cuba during the cold war with the bay of pigs operation, and the assassination of Austro-Hungarian archduke that helped start World War One) In modern society, the spoken word can give way to many a civil conflict (taunts from a fellow classmate at school instigating a violent fight, casual disregard for race or gender leading to decline of trust between two people or groups).

    I mean no offense to anyone posting here, what I do mean to do by writing this, is to have you, the reader think about the facts and evidence presented here to hopefully instigate feelings towards it.

    Any feedback is welcome

    Reply
  279. KJB -  July 15, 2010 - 10:29 pm

    Censorship is b*****t. It is purely a form of control. People who think cuss words are inappropriate are only offended by the fact that they can’t force other people to “respect”, meaning abide by, their silly hangups. Grow up.

    The old canard about moral decay due to forms of self expression is a false syllogism. That tired complaint has been around for thousands of years and hasn’t been proven true yet. Far more harm is done in societies with rigid social structures and rules that demand conformity as those rules often are translated into ridiculous laws.

    Reply
  280. Kathy -  July 15, 2010 - 10:04 pm

    I agree with the above from Gary. Kindness and consideration should always come first. I use these words when appropriate. I don’t use them around young children, out in public, or around people I know would be offended. It goes without saying I would never use this language at work. Also, you need to be respectful as well as kind. But the word I really can’t stomach is not the swear word F#@k, but the term “The F-Bomb” that really sounds so pathetically childish. Everytime I hear this I roll my eyes.

    Reply
  281. Me -  July 15, 2010 - 9:47 pm

    Darlins……….at the end of the day who gives a _ _ _ _?

    Reply
  282. Nunya B.Z. Niss -  July 15, 2010 - 9:26 pm

    Words DO harm people. Point blank. Just because you think the other person isn’t affected by your acrid verbal lashings… doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Unless you guys are reading these people’s minds… which then, by all means, I am completely wrong and you people who opined that “words don’t harm people” are entirely right.

    Reply
  283. Ian -  July 15, 2010 - 9:23 pm

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”

    You have to take responsibility for what you do say. Ask Megan Meier if words can’t harm. Sure, it wasn’t because someone swore in the street. That wasn’t the issue, but it’s a level of extremes isn’t it.

    Reply
  284. Jessica Simpsonisfunny -  July 15, 2010 - 9:22 pm

    Silver Fang: “No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”

    UM I’m quite sure you haven’t heard the saying that goes something like “Words can hurt more than physical pain”
    I REALLY don’t believe that this saying would have come to being if people found it false. I just wanted to let you know that words DO hurt people so I would recommend being careful with your words because
    your tongue can be a sword that pierces someone’s heart.

    ^^ I’m not here to argue whether it’s right or wrong to curse,cuss or swear. I BELIEVE it’s not right, but I find that it’s up to you guys to make the choice.

    Reply
  285. Eweneek -  July 15, 2010 - 8:55 pm

    Well said, Gary! Besides, there are so many truly colorful words in our language with which we may express ourselves. Resorting to vulgar words and expressions shows a lack of education, imagination, and consideration…and is just plain boring!

    Reply
  286. barbarella -  July 15, 2010 - 8:53 pm

    It took seven years for the court to rule on Bono dropping the F-bomb on TV??? WTF! :-0 Words do have meanings… don’t think they don’t!

    This is a topic I find quite fascinating because it gets into cultural issues. Most people use swear words with little or no thought as to the actually meaning of the words and phrases because they are common cultural lingo. But I can’t help thinking about the literal meaning of the words and really would not want God to damn someone, for example.

    I often wonder why it’s acceptable to drag God & Jesus into situations they have nothing to do with? Or God & Jesus swearing is acceptable in public situations, at the office & on TV but the F and S words are not? I think the C and N words are never appropriate, but in certain circles, they’re used very freely.

    Reply
  287. donna -  July 15, 2010 - 8:46 pm

    i believe in history and the word simultaneously, if you know you are being heard-any word has any other meaning….so having class can either go to thoust ear or thoust tongue, usually it is not your worry what’s out anothers mouth, and generally i follow lessons to my kids with the ole punch line cuz so and so is already an adult

    Reply
  288. John Hedtke -  July 15, 2010 - 8:29 pm

    I’m pleased that there’s the distinction between types of swearing. For me, it’s no big deal to use the F word. But if I am really pissed at someone, you’ll hear me say “Go to Hell!” Rather Catholic, I suppose. :)

    And for general “curses,” I have always admired the elegance of “May all your tics be facial!”

    Reply
  289. Micheal -  July 15, 2010 - 7:26 pm

    “I’m proud of you.”

    “You’re worthless.”

    “You’re fired.”

    “Glad to have you on the team.”

    Just words?

    Reply
  290. clandaddy -  July 15, 2010 - 7:21 pm

    Setting aside the puerile assertions that words don’t matter, your etymology is shallow and flawed. As one poster noted curses originating from worshipers of Balaam, I will mention that Roman chariot race enthusiasts would inscribe curses upon sheets of lead and bury them in the sand of the local circus , hoping to bring misfortune down upon the heads of the team competing against their own favorite.
    The origin of the *word* is either Old and Middle English (curs) & (cursian) or possibly Old Irish (cursagim) while the *custom* is universal in all cultures.
    Before you engage in this sort of shoddy, cursory scholarship again, please remind yourself that the Christian Bible was written in Aramaic, translated to Greek and to Latin, all three of which use different phonemes entirely for the concepts about which you are so blithely ignorant.
    Words *do* matter, especially when they are used to spread ignorance. Please get the summer intern away from the computer and return control of the site to the adults.

    Reply
  291. Nomad -  July 15, 2010 - 7:08 pm

    “Samus on July 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Except that in the UK and to the Irish they drop the “c-word” all the time without it being offensive.”

    Don’t believe this. Many British and Scots label this as the worst. I would think the same of the Irish but there are none around to ask.

    Reply
  292. Emma -  July 15, 2010 - 7:02 pm

    Honestly, swear words bear hardly any meaning in our world today. At least, they shouldn’t bear any more than other words. You can easily replace nearly every single one of them with a word that is considered acceptable, such as the s-word with a lesser word such as “poo” or the f-bomb with any number of words (“freaking,” “frigging,” “fraking,” “fricking,” “effing”) that bother almost no one. I myself was raised not to use expletives, which I don’t particularly much, but I don’t believe that there’s really anything very wrong with it. It doesn’t show disrespect, ignorance, or anything else along those lines. It’s simply a choice of words. You are not insulting anyone unless you use it towards them in a certain disrespectful or derogatory way, which can be done using normal words anyway.

    Reply
  293. poop -  July 15, 2010 - 6:56 pm

    i dont concider that f word ass good?

    Reply
  294. Taborri -  July 15, 2010 - 6:46 pm

    look at our children… I live beside an elementary school. When I am outside after school and listen to the conversations, it is quite the education to hear how many of the children pepper thier language with *bleep* words. And we adults have taught them to say them. As babies, they speak them early and to most parents, sadly, the punishment is harsh, thus sparking a motive for the child to repeat the words where mommy and daddy cannont hear them do so, to friends and in play. As they hear parents use more and more of the *bleep* language, they use it more until theyare proficient users. If we want this language to stop or to become common enough that it doesn’t hurt anyone, it has to start with us older adults. And I am truly trying to stop using the words myself, but I am a writer trying to publish and some *bleep* words come into it. In other books, there is none and even lessons on why it shouldn’t be used. Let us older generation of adults DO something, not just sit and write about it, let’s get busy and work to stop the foul language. If we can stop even 1 or 2 each, that’s a few less, so it’s some success, eh?

    Reply
  295. Blaine -  July 15, 2010 - 6:34 pm

    By the way, Gary, I feel that is very true. However, I think that we all have had our moments when we have been less than kind towards the feelings of others. It tends to happen most during emotional distress, but this only adds to the situation rather than help.

    Reply
  296. Blaine -  July 15, 2010 - 6:32 pm

    For those of you who think that words can’t cause harm, then I suppose you aren’t very social people. Those of you who are aware of this fact, I commend your social skills, and hope you continue the good work. The world has both good and bad; we just have to try and lean towards the good and accept the bad. It doesn’t seem to be leaving too soon.

    Reply
  297. Ashley -  July 15, 2010 - 6:26 pm

    Those of you who say that words do not hurt are *ahem* inaccurate. However, the most important thing is not what you say, but the way in which you say it. Hateful words and tones are just that HATEFUL! Don’t act as if you have never been by words.

    Reply
  298. Delatea -  July 15, 2010 - 6:18 pm

    Please forgive me in my sleep-deprived state; I am extremely embarrassed:
    **Swear words have been around as long as *there* has been language, and it is not as if stifling it with prudishness would turn our society into a utopia.**

    Reply
  299. Delatea -  July 15, 2010 - 6:15 pm

    Kindly consider the “lack of decency” in insulting those whose opinion might differ from yours before intolerantly condemning the use of expletives as a bane of our culture. Swear words have been around as long as their has been language, and it is not as if stifling it with prudishness would not turn our society into a utopia. Every generation thinks that the next is ruining the culture, but frankly, throughout history I can see no “moral decay”–we’re all just as rotten as we’ve ever been.

    Reply
  300. Dennis -  July 15, 2010 - 6:13 pm

    My feeling have been hurt the worst by comments that did not contain of the words normally considered to be profane.

    Reply
  301. LoveJoe -  July 15, 2010 - 5:58 pm

    Words can offend but they don’t hurt anyone unless you are that weak minded to take anyone’s word as a fact about you or someone you love. Punches and kicks hurt whether you want them to or not, but with words you have the power to decide whether your going to let it get to you or influence you.

    Reply
  302. Tabitha -  July 15, 2010 - 5:56 pm

    You say “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.” You have never read a poem and cried? You have never read a letter from a loved one a been moved? You have no feelings or emotions? Words are the foundation and basis of how we express ourselves and though some words evoke a stronger response than others, ALL words have power. When I quote the words “The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might:…” What is it that you think of? Your childhood perhaps? Reading to a child? These are things that will stay with us… And they are “Just words”?? I think not! So next time you have a thought… let it go.

    Reply
  303. lisa. -  July 15, 2010 - 5:53 pm

    It’s not swear words, which have mostly lost their meaning nowadays, which cause harm to people. It’s the cleverly-worded insults that prod a person where it hurts most, like someone’s past or their family or anything that someone feels sensitive about. Those are the words that hurt people.

    Reply
  304. Andrew -  July 15, 2010 - 5:52 pm

    Swearing is against God. Why would you bother?

    Reply
  305. Steve -  July 15, 2010 - 5:49 pm

    Words will only harm someone if they let them. If someone does not take to heart the bad things someone is saying, then those words are harmless. On the other hand, if words are all you care about, then yes, it can and will be harmful.

    Reply
  306. Andrew -  July 15, 2010 - 5:41 pm

    Swearing is against God and should never be used. It says in scripture that ‘Let no unclean word come out of thy mouth’.

    Reply
  307. Name -  July 15, 2010 - 5:36 pm

    Ok it may not be words that heart but it is in fact the meanig of the words that hurt.
    I know a girl who got picked on at school and had a b=nasty word scrblled on her locker she ende up having a nervous break down and most of it was that word on her locker the thing is she deffinitely was not the kind of person that the wor reffered to and she said it was like a slap in the face evrry time she saw it because that is what others thaught of her.
    now try and tell me words dont hurt!

    Reply
  308. kimbo -  July 15, 2010 - 5:30 pm

    Also like 2 add dat while names don’t hurt….. i was taught dat swearing is a sign of weakness

    Reply
  309. Shane Davis -  July 15, 2010 - 5:26 pm

    @Silver Fang: In no way do I agree that “words are just words”, nor do I think there’s any truth in saying that “no one can be harmed by what is spoken.”
    The point of language is to communicate. Language is created to express emotions and ideas – be they positive, neutral, or negative. How could anyone believe that the words you use can’t have a damaging effect on someone? The point of language is to HAVE an effect.
    As for cursing? I’d say we’re much more casual about it the further our society moves from the Church. But the intent will always be the most important aspect: words spoken in anger are angry words, divine or not.

    Reply
  310. Me that as it can't -  July 15, 2010 - 5:15 pm

    I think the poor chap meant that dropping an occasional curse word will not injur another in the context of Bono’s use of such, and in most cases it is simply a matter of expression in which one finds curse words to best express that feeling from the moment. You people picked the poor lad to death, you also all made valid and accurate points, but leave the fella alone now. Words are like water. There are millions of uses for water. Water can both give life and take life. It is how you apply words and in what contexts you use them. Surely you would not dump a bucket of water on a drowning man. I think the gentleman you all tore a new ASSHOLE, was speaking more of instances where a fine mist catches the audience at the dolphin tank in the local zoo. Big difference. Throw your stones, I implore you, throw away….

    Reply
  311. Kari -  July 15, 2010 - 5:08 pm

    Let’s not confuse hate speech with using a swear word to convey how strongly you feel about something. Bono was happy, ecstatic even! There was nothing offensive or hateful about his manner of his remark. Words can hurt if they are mean, spiteful & hateful.

    However, I agree that cuss words
    are just that- words, unless they are being direct at someone or a
    group for the purpose of harm or hate

    Reply
  312. Gary -  July 15, 2010 - 4:58 pm

    It isn’t the words that are said, so much as it is the lack of decency by saying the words that may cause others to be offended or hurt. A truly decent and compassionate person would give consideration for the feelings of those who might not want to hear such words. One adds to the moral decay we are seeing in our culture as each generation passes, by adopting the attitude that he or she should be entitled to say anything they want in public, without regard for whom it may show disrespect. Unfortunately, my words will probably go without effect, for most any person who would rebuke my words, more than likely can’t read anyway…

    Reply
  313. Robert -  July 15, 2010 - 4:47 pm

    The concept of curses originated thousands of years before Christianity. Balaam was on his way to curse the Israelites and Egyptian tombs were inscribed with curses, for example.

    Reply
  314. Matt -  July 15, 2010 - 4:47 pm

    Words do not harm people.

    Anyone harmed by words needs to HTFU and stop being such a puff.

    Reply
  315. Anonymous -  July 15, 2010 - 4:40 pm

    Men will judge by their words. How absurd it is too say that “words” will not harm anyone! It is like saying that actions are just actions whether they’re good or bad they will not harm anyone.
    “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

    Reply
  316. kimbo -  July 15, 2010 - 4:35 pm

    As dey say “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”

    Reply
  317. BLEEP | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  July 15, 2010 - 4:34 pm

    [...] BLEEP! WhatDAFA? We’ve spoken of the old BAR CODE where we’d speak out in mixed company, if someone spoke with language unacceptable. — But oh how times have changed and situations rearranged — where “Cussed Like a Sailor” has a meaning imperceptible. — We learned to write freely from Henry Miller and “Banned in Boston” had some clout — Though the only thing we’ve really learned is that there is simply “no way out.”. — This could be a good thing in a chupacabra “goat sucking” why don’t cha get some sleep. — The problem is the people blowing CAR horns or that wretched vuvuzela for no reason except to “BLEEP”. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhymes [...]

    Reply
  318. Elle -  July 15, 2010 - 4:15 pm

    Words do cause harm, fyi.
    I just find that certain things are appropriate and others aren’t, swearing/cursing/etc. being one of them. Honestly, it isn’t even an attractive thing to do. Just because it’s becoming an accepted thing amongst most social groups doesn’t mean that it’s okay to do.

    Reply
  319. apple -  July 15, 2010 - 4:05 pm

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.” Your comment may be a little misguided… words can indeed hurt,it may not hurt physically, but it hurts emotionally and psychologically. In fact, it is the emotional and psychological damage caused by hurtful words that is hardest to heal. Besides, the power of the spoken [and written] word must never be underestimated… many a war has broken out and much blood has been spilled over words (not all of which were curse or swear words, some were quite common, in fact).

    Reply
  320. Kevin Frey -  July 15, 2010 - 4:04 pm

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.”

    Really? This statement seems to trivialize individuals’ emotions. Here’s my reasoning: Words make up nearly the entirety of verbal communication. People communicate in order to tell other people what they’re doing, thinking, and feeling, etc., and as such, people are able to use words to evoke emotion. When someone deliberately uses words to maliciously exploit an individual’s emotions, that can be extremely harmful.

    What you said is no different than saying an idea can’t be harmful to someone. Reducing it further, it’s like saying how someone feels doesn’t matter. After all, they’re just feelings. In some cases, that may not be far from the truth, but words and ideas harm people every day, and they nearly always precede actions, which can result in additional harm.

    Reply
  321. Ed -  July 15, 2010 - 3:50 pm

    When these words are used frequently they lose all meaning. Whether you’re offended or not, let us not over-use the last words that really pack a punch.

    Reply
  322. CW -  July 15, 2010 - 3:44 pm

    Are words really “just words?”
    One of the worst poems that kids are taught is “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

    Come on, we know words have the potential to greatly encourage, and greatly hurt. Anyone denying that surely has never heard each extreme.

    Words can be medicine, or words can be poison. Decide wisely what flows out from the spring of your oral cavity.

    Reply
  323. Dan -  July 15, 2010 - 3:38 pm

    There’s such a thing as dressing for business (I guess the woman who was recently fired found this out) and conducting yourself in a civil manner. If you regularly use profanity and lose friends, lose employment or lose chances to succeed, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Reply
  324. Samus -  July 15, 2010 - 3:21 pm

    Except that in the UK and to the Irish they drop the “c-word” all the time without it being offensive.

    Reply
  325. Mike -  July 15, 2010 - 3:14 pm

    Surely the ‘C’ word has now been overtaken by the ‘N’ word?

    Reply
  326. Jody -  July 15, 2010 - 3:07 pm

    Well, if what Bono did was drop the f-bomb, he didn’t use what many Americans (myself included) consider the “worst” swear word. Now, if he’d dropped the “c-bomb,” that might be another story.

    Reply
  327. Johnny Dolater -  July 15, 2010 - 3:01 pm

    Who considers the F word to be the worst swear word?, surely it’s the one beginning with C

    Reply
  328. Arock -  July 15, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    “Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.” How intelligent!

    Reply
  329. RKZ -  July 15, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    Excellent discussion. Although I’m familiar with the origins of curse, profanity, etc., I’m glad to see you referencing the Christian (Catholic) Church and the Christian God–this prohibition is not universal. I’m a fan of adult words used in context in appropriate venues(not just disperesed throughout a conversation as if the expletive were a mark of emphasis). A reasonable person can EXPECT Bono to utter expletives–after all, he is both eloquent and a rock star. Really, it’s hilarious that the FTC tried to make sure adult words did not occur on the few outlets it governs while every cable TV channel broadcasts the entire text of a movie’s screenplay and all the natural speech of people on talk shows, soldiers in the field, etc. TG the Federal Appeals Court saw the folly of this policy. It’s not just vague, but pointlessly vague.

    Reply
  330. Colin -  July 15, 2010 - 2:30 pm

    The etymology of these words is interesting, but it’s always seemed to me that the word being said is never so important as we seem to assume. I’ve heard people use utterly harmless words to say terrible things and people use ‘bad” words with no intention of ill-will at all. It seems to me that by acknowledging such words as being bad or wrong in and of themselves, we give them far more power than they’d otherwise enjoy.

    Reply
  331. Silver Fang -  July 15, 2010 - 2:29 pm

    I say all those words all the time because, quite frankly, who cares? Words are just words. No one can be harmed by what is spoken.

    Besides, the designation of what is profane changes from decade to decade. One-hundred years ago, saying “gol ding it all” was as bad as saying, “Damn it all”. Nowadays, no one cares if you say “ding”, “darn” or “damn”.

    Hopefully, in another 50 years, we’ll be able to drop f bombs as well.

    Reply

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