The Beacon

Have curse words lost their shock value?

Andre Spruell, Opinion Editor

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Curse words have been part of society for a copious amount of time, but do they carry the same shock factor? I believe the answer to that question is no.

There are only a few words that fall under this category and if any of those words are used in the wrong setting, you could be judged harshly or even lose your job as a result.

On the other hand, there are many people that seem to use curse words in every other sentence, also known as “potty mouths.”

Looking at forms of media today like television, movies, radio/podcasts, and many other forms, the use of curse words does not take people aback as they had in previous generations.

Factors as to why this may be the case is because of religion and lack of disciplining.

I believe religion is an intracule factor as to why curse words are not seen as shocking anymore because in many religions, especially Christianity, curse words are not allowed to be used.

Around the times when land started being conquered by powerful empires and countries began forming, the basis for almost every decision made was based on religion.

This is even evident in the U.S. in the Pledge of Allegiance, “…One nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Throughout Latin America, the Spanish were infamous for conquering much of Latin America, as well as spreading their ideals of Christianity. So much so that Christianity is still the dominant religion in these areas.

The point is that since religion was a major influence in many countries, especially in the U.S., language was affected.

Out of respect for God, as well as being taught to treat others the way you would like to be treated, cursing at someone was seen as extremely disrespectful.

According to a Pew Research Center study, ‘No Religion’ is the world’s third largest religious group after Christians and Muslims.

Since there are a large number of people that do not identify with a religion, their decision making process does not have a religious factor, meaning people are more likely now to decide for themselves without keeping in mind the interests of others.

Thus cursing someone out or using it in media is not seen as being as bad.

The lack of parents disciplining their kids today is another reason why I believe curse words do not have that shock factor regarding everyday life.

With stricter rules and laws put into place, many parents are hesitant to beat their child for acting up because they could face jail time.

In previous generations, hitting a child for misbehaving was so accepted, that teachers were allowed to strike children in school for misbehaving.

I am not advocating physically assaulting children, but discipling children by hitting them has been shown through studies that they end up behaving better.

As a result, this may lead to a generation of kids who have not developed a sense of respect and are more likely to lash out by cursing at their fellow peers and elders.

Cursing has become part of everyday speech and even in media, many words that were seen as “bad words” do not even get beeped out anymore.

In general, curse words are being used so much in everyday language that it has become accepted and not seen as shocking.

Personally, I wish curse words still carried the same shock value that they once did because language is a reflection of yourself.

Cursing has become so accepted that I feel like the only time it carries that shock value is if they are used towards an elder or an authority figure to undermine their authority.

Since cursing has become so accepted, the future will probably consist of curse words being fully accepted and probably end up not even being beeped out in media forms like television.

The internet can also be a source  because through social media, the average person can post something for the whole world to see, thus meaning that people do not have as much privacy as they had before the social media and the internet came into existence.

In general, society as whole has loosened up in regards to language and words that are used.

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Have curse words lost their shock value?