Do not curse all the flunking time

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Do not curse all the flunking time

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I love the English language, especially adjectives that seem simple but reveal so much about the noun that it describes. If I describe someone as “shallow,” you have a pretty good idea of what that person may act like. They are someone who, no matter how hard you dig at their personality, will only show the surface of their identity or the mask they choose to show others.

Regardless of this imaginary being, I associate the word “shallow” most often with other people’s usage of curse words. I used to be an advocate for constant cursing honestly, mostly because my parents and teachers looked down upon the tween and early high school behavior.

At some point in my life however, I realized that cursing takes no effort and does not make you or your message stand out 99 percent of the time.

Curse words are used to express dissonance or frustration, but their over usage in colloquial conversations and in arguments makes them weak and over-anticipated. When used timely however, that word can cause the right amount of noise to awaken a message.

Going to an all-boys high school, it is difficult to remember a conversation without hearing the F-bomb being dropped at least a dozen times. It was as if those words gave the speaker this undisputed power and control within a group conversation, and that it was a necessity in order to have a good story.

As I grew throughout high school and got a teensy bit wiser, the curse-word curse started to fade. I never believed that I was a full-blown adult or that mommy’s little boy deserved a cookie every time he refrained from using vulgar language. I just started to realize when to use that exclusive side of my vocabulary.

In the modern day, cursing is best used in acting, watching a missed pass interference call, arguing and sometimes writing.

For plays, movies and musicals, the actors only have so much stage time to showcase their character. There is a script that they must work with, and sometimes the character’s most trademark line may include cursing. Need an example? “The Book of Mormon” and “Heathers: The Musical” are good starts. Writing shares the same concept – there is a finite amount of time someone gets to speak, and the readers need to get a great sense of the character through their thoughts, actions and words.

Being angry or arguing with others seems to be a common time to flip to the no-no words in our vocabulary to express exactly how we feel to others. Often times, people start cursing right at the introduction of the conversation with others or with ourselves. Although cursing seems like a natural reaction to some, widely ignored by the general public, there is always a pair of ears listening. Hearing someone you know curse for the first time changes your impression of them. If it is early on, that usually means they curse often, and they probably are not that interesting of a person. If it is several months into knowing them, it takes you aback for a second since you have never before heard them go to that side of their personal glossary to express chagrin.

It’s mistaken that using crass vocabulary will indefinitely make your message funny or powerful, given the context. Unfortunately for those desperate for low-level attention, anyone can use a curse word. It’s more often a filler whenever someone runs out of ideas, and those who ramble are usually kind of shallow. Cursing should be viewed as the ghost pepper of words – add one speck with the perfect mixture of ingredients to light fire to your message. If you add too much, few will care to taste what you have made.

For general purposes, learn a new word, sound smart, get to the point, and make a good impression of yourself through your word choices.