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Swearing and Profanity

“Talk in order that I may see you.” 
(Socrates, Communication of Ideas, p. 72.)


The words we use reveal a great deal about who we are. I was raised in a home where degrading language was not spoken nor allowed. There were times in my tween years, that my sister and I would get into arguments and I’d get so angry with her that the only thing I could come up with was to swear. I’d get reprimanded every time I swore. Anger and swearing seem to go hand in hand. Interestingly enough, every time I got angry enough to swear at my sister it never made me feel better or solved the problem.


Since coming into the blogging world, I’ve been amazed at the profanity used by people. It seems to be common place to use profanity to express certain feelings or to get a point across. Certainly, as vast and diverse as language is, there are more intelligent ways to accurately express our ideas and emotions other than using language that is degrading and offensive.


Right about now, some people may be thinking that I’m just being a prude. Maybe so, but I don’t think so. When profanity is used, either by you, or someone around you, take a minute to see how it makes you feel. Was it enlightening and did it make you feel better? Or did it cast a dark shadow over the conversation? Profane words never edify or create positive emotions.


Here is what 17 year old BreeAnna H. said about the subject:


“After you swear a lot, you will start to feel just like the words you are saying. When you do any kind of swearing, you hurt the Lord, yourself, and sometimes others.”


Bob Greene of the Field Newspaper Syndicate speaks of swearing in his article: 
Hear Pollution
“Obscenity, the open use of which used to be a mark of lower social strata, has somehow become acceptable in everyday conversation for everyday people.
“Those who disagree are probably saying, ‘after all, it’s only words.’ But words are vehicles; they convey messages. And to some people, the message of profanity is a message of ugliness and aggressiveness and a disrespect for civil behavior.
“Bathroom and sexual obscenities can now be heard in certain popular songs on the radio, and even some magazines and newspapers have begun to print language that would have been unthinkable five years ago. This practice is usually defended under the name of ‘freedom.’ But whose freedom is it? If the language of ugliness becomes so much a part of our society that it is impossible to escape no matter where one turns, then who is free and who isn’t?”


Whether you are religious or not, these scriptures put it very well:


“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Eph. 4:29.)


“… Let your words tend to edifying one another.” (D&C 136:23–24.)


Elder Robert K. Dellenbach of the Seventy, LDS:


"It’s the same mouth you use to pray, to bear testimony... Be careful to keep it clean."


What are your feelings and attitudes towards the topic of today’s discussion?


This topic will be followed up in the next week coming weeks discussing your comments and with a post on 'How to Control and Stop using Profanity. I hope you’ll join me!


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10 comments:

  1. I use FB as a forum to share my faith, just like I do my blog. I'm absolutely stunned at some of the language that is used on there. I have had to "unfriend" some people because of their profanity. Instead of making a person look like a "big shot", as it seems they think it does....it just makes them look pitiful to me. I'm not surprised at all that we have yet another thing in common!!! ;-)

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  2. Deb, I've had to remove and stop following some sites too because it was just too difficult getting through the offensive language.
    We're sister for sure!

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  3. Great post! Thanks for sharing this, and I agree whole-heartedly. I have let my anger get the best of me in the past too, and felt nothing better for it..

    Thanks for visiting!
    Jackie @ http://sahmcity.com

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  4. i don't curse on my site or online, but man, i do curse like a sailor sometimes. i know it's bad, and there are times i can stop for awhile- but then it comes flying out again and it's back to the drawing board. sigh. its easier not to curse while typing, lol

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  5. Jackie, thanks for your comment. I hope you'll share some 'not swearing' ideas with us!

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  6. I'm in agreement with you on this. I also recite silently to myself Eph. 4:29, when I feel myself getting really angry. This was a really good post, I'm going to share it with my 13 yr old. Not that he has a potty mouth, but once in a while when he doesn't think I'm listening, certain words slip out. lol

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  7. Great thoughts Becky! I so agree. I avoid blogs, magazines, tv, etc. that use foul language and promote base ideas. Which means I do a lot of avoiding! But I'm not poorer because of what I don't have in my life, I'm richer because of the space I've freed up to be fill with good. Sadly freedom is only freedom when exercised with responsibility and self-sacrifice, anything else is slavery. I thought of several verses as I read your thoughts. James 3 speaks strongly to how we use our mouths, verse 10 says, "blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!" Ephesians 5 is great too, verse 4 says, "Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God." Good gravy I wrote a post in your comments! Good topic, I look forward to reading more.

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  8. I have run across a few "Mommy" blogs that regularly use swearing. Sad really. There are many other words you can use to express your displeasure and will not scare off most of your readers.

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  9. great post Becky!! I agree wholeheartedly (except when it comes to the chicken excrement...because I really can only think of it as you know what in my head...man that stuff stinks!)

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