Have Curse Words Lost Their Shock Value?


Cecilia Chepkoech

Profanities can be heard almost anywhere you turn nowadays. Whether it is at school, at home, in public, or even in the confines of a religious building. What used to be only reserved for angry conversations or stubbed toes have now become as regular as a “hello”. It was usually something that could only be heard by adults during private conversations but millennials have popularized, added, and invented new formations to the Germanic sayings and Gen-Z has quickly followed.

Many argue that curse words are freedom of speech, taken too far. They have become so common that they have lost their shock value and it’s quite simply a statement to the society we live in. Take school for example; back in the days before millennial teens and even before that, students would not curse, typically because of rules, but even if there were no rules, it was common courtesy to leave the profanities at home. Now, everywhere you turn teacher or no teacher around, there are f-bombs being dropped where f-bombs are not necessary. It’s as if curse words have been implemented into our very vocabulary and its stranger to not use them than to use them.

Not using curse words has also become another statement towards the peer pressure that continues to dominate our current generation. According to a survey between several lower classmen at Mountain Ridge, if you don’t use profanity you are assumed to be pretentious and too religious. In fifth grade and below if someone said any curse word there would be gasps and even tattling but the amount of care we have lost from fifth grade to now can be described as immense.

It has become difficult to separate curse words from professional sentences between adults because of this. Students and teenagers have become so comfortable and lax with their language that there is barely any sense of professionalism in school. Especially with the media promoting it in every turn, younger and younger kids are getting even more exposed to this vulgarity which makes us wonder: do curse words even matter anymore?