Why I Choose Not to Curse

Emily Varker, Copy Editor

In high school, I was known in my friend group for being the only one who would not curse. Though it fit in with my persona as the “mom friend” of the group, my friends still teased me about what they perceived as my inability to curse. Of course, I would tease them right back. I would say that if my life were a movie they would mess up my PG-13 rating. But it annoyed me that what they perceived as an inability to curse was actually a personal choice. 

As an English major, words are very important to me. For instance, I get irritated whenever I cannot think of a proper word when I am in conversation with peers or writing a paper. Growing up with a love for words, I learned that there were words that were considered better than others. Yes, some expletives can be used for emphasis or to make a point. They can be used very successfully for those purposes as I learned through tweenage incidents where I used one of those “naughty words.” Instead of the punishment seen in movies where a child’s mouth gets washed out with soap, my mom would just look at me in a disappointed way and say, “You know so many more eloquent words Emily, use them instead.” 

And she is right. If I want to speak out against a bad situation or a person who is not treating me or others well, why should I use curse words? Ultimately, they are empty in meaning since they are not specific to the situation that I am speaking out against. A well-placed cuss may have impact, but I feel it is more impactful if I use words that more truly and fully convey the circumstances. Using specific words rather than a general curse also leaves no room for fallacious argument. 

I do not claim to be perfect. I might drop a curse word when someone startles me, or I am frustrated with myself. Nevertheless, I will not allow myself to use curse words when I discuss injustices in our world or personal issues with other people. I know that using swear words is not the best that I can offer. I also know that for any improvements to occur in my world or the world at large have to give my best.