The Mystery of Curse Words

Story By: Rachel Gossen

Rachel Gossen

“See you later motherf—.”

“Dude, that’s f— bullsh—.”

It’s rare to walk more than five feet on campus without hearing an f-bomb being dropped. And personally, I think that’s okay.

The words once reserved for shouting at the guy who cut you off, or for when you stubbed your toe, have lost their shock value in popular culture and that is translating into the speech of young adults.

I didn’t know what the real “f” word was until I hit middle school. Suddenly, it — along with other choice curse words — became part of the sounds heard around me. As I continued my school career, the words became part of my school vernacular.

But never was I to say those words at home, unless I wanted stern looks from my parents as well as a “what did you say!” reaction.

Now in college, I watch my mouth even less. If I truly think about it, I drop curse words in almost every sentence when I’m around my friends.

The increase in usage I notice in my friends and myself isn’t just because we’ve grown up, but because we’re being influenced by popular culture. Recently, in music and films, curse words have become rampant.

At the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, Kanye West’s performance of his song “All Day” was almost entirely censored for swearing. But who cares?

Curse words are only considered taboo because we have made them that way. Words are simply a combination of letters and sounds. They hold no meaning besides the ones we give them. So why do we allow these words to affect us so much? Why do we cover children’s ears when certain words are said out loud?

Because that’s the entire point of curse words: to have a way to express your emotions in a time of extreme distress. By using them all the time, we’ve lost the meaning of curse words and they’ve just become part of our college language.

However, when I leave the bubble of college, I’m quickly reminded that this is not how the rest of the world speaks. When walking around Disneyland, I work my hardest to remind my brain to censor my speech since I’m around young children or when walking with friends by tours on campus, I make an effort to tone down my speech because parents are around.

I’d like to stop doing this though. I think it’s time to destroy the concept of “curse words” and say whatever we feel like saying, whether we want it to have meaning or not.

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