Swear words are becoming more common and less dramatic

The evolution of how swear words have become more common in contemporary vernacular

Emma Bailey, page editor

Swear words: we all say them. It can be immensely difficult for the typical high school student to eliminate these particular words from their vocabulary as they come naturally during necessary instances. Profanity, while some might view it as vulgar and disrespectful, really does possess the capability to express our raw, candid emotions and reactions. As swear words become more accepted and integrated by youth, their nature becomes simultaneously organic and impulsive, posing the question: do swear words still carry their original weight?

For some, swearing often rolls off the tongue, like second nature. We throw words out like candy, not always aware of their varying effects and interpretations. Sure, the occasional swear word holds the potential to add emphasis, especially when used by a figure of authority, but swearing overall does not harbor as much meaning as we would like. Because of its continued and heavy use, especially among high school students, swear words have naturally integrated themselves into conversation, often going unnoticed and essentially acting as a filler for a stronger word.

For those of us that jet through life without a filter, swear words have become more of a creative outlet. The f-word can take on the form of several parts of speech while simultaneously shedding the weight it was once assigned. No matter the emotion, swear words are always able to arrange themselves into a conversation. It’s not as if swear words have lost their weight, but their vulgarity instead.

Perhaps it’s not overuse that strips these words, but the context in which we use them. Curse words can be used to describe pretty much anything, whether it’s a moment in time, a person, or a mere thought. Profanity often serves as a filler for words unknown, neither adding nor taking away from a sentence’s quality. Sure, depending on the situation and conversation, it might be more beneficial to search for a more concise and professional word, but swear words naturally tend to get the point across just fine.

There have been words that, with time, have grouped themselves separately from that of swear words, and taken on a more complex formation. For example, the n-word, though its meaning has evolved greatly over time, still carries an immense weight for black people all over the world. Specifically, in black artists use the word is said in various pop-culture contexts, oftentimes leading people to falsely believe that this usage equates to permission for anyone to say the n-word. In the end, while connotation can morph, some words are much too historically relevant and heavy to lose their meaning.

Swear words are continuing to release the same meaning and weight that they once possessed. Recent generations have crafted the words into entirely different categories. Yet, we are still told to eliminate these words from our vocabularies, an injustice that can only be explained by a lack of contemporary eloquence.