Thursday, December 7, 2017

The "F" Word

This Blog Was Written By
Reanna Ramasami 

Have you ever noticed when learning a language that the words deemed inappropriate, are the ones that tend to stick? Or the crazy fascination to just know how to say the ‘bad’ words first rather than actual words that you would use? Have you ever wondered who gets to declare what words are bad, and how is it that some words are considered taboo to say? 
But isn’t cursing a form of communication? We often express our emotions by simply using words known as profanity. As defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as “an offensive word/ offensive language”

Personally, growing up I was taught to never use any form of swear words, but why? My parents never cursed or used the ‘f’ bomb in front of us ever, and I have always wondered why? And, if I would want to expose my children to these words that are marked ‘inappropriate’ by society. In a fascinating book “Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad language” Author and scientist Emma Byrne talks about the great world of swearing and how beneficial it can be to use these words freely to express oneself. She argues that foul language can be very beneficial in the work place, for people are drawn to others when they can have a very natural flowing conversation, without any strict guidelines to follow, therefore encouraging room for trusty relationships along with cooperation and unity, to be built.

The stigma of profanity used only in extreme cases of violence comes up, and primarily older people tend to avoid these terms. In the past couple of years, I have seen the use of this type of communication expand, and we see that music and other forms of art are highly influenced with expressing themselves using profanity, to say how angry or extremely happy/excited they are. 

One question that I have is, if swear words are used so commonly now, especially in New York, then why is it still taboo to use such words in certain places and at certain times depending on the setting? 
Are we codeswitching by using profanity in some instances rather than others? the use of profanity helps to relive us, in many cases, the language is used to express emotions that regular words sometimes do not contain. And having a word that is loud and expressive might just do the trick, by proving the point of how you want to be taken. 
Is profanity highly offensive? Or have these words become meaningless? Because of being used so freely?  What if these words were never distinguished and marked as “Bad” words, would we still find them offensive?

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