I was talking to a co-worker recently and he commented that it would be great for him to let his hair down and curse in his new position.
So he (and a lot of people) think that controlling yourself is too much effort and it’s just less effort to curse. However, effort is only involved if there’s a difference between what you want to say and what you do say. Basically, if you think in profanities, but just not say them, that requires effort. So by opening your mouth and expressing something vile you merely reveal what lives inside. I think it is obvious that his mind needs to be renewed.
Another aspect of profanity is the delusion that many eight-year-olds have — that if they use these words, people will respect them, or do what they say. Maybe that had some validity when most of society bothered to control itself (or simply did not think like barbarians to start with), but now, not so much. I don’t think profanity motivates or surprises anyone. If anything, the lack of profanity in conversation, TV, movies, can feel a little weird if you’re not used to it. However, I am happy to report that it doesn’t take much time to get used to it.
In both cases, the use of profanity is simply immaturity. People who reveal their own twisted selves and expect others to applaud aren’t realizing that they are revealing their own hideousness instead. People who think profanity = respect because they are using adult language make a category mistake. When profanity is common, then its power to shock or offend is gone. It’s just now an expected part of the *U&*ing landscape. Also, they think that being an adult means talking filth, and that is a tremendous misunderstanding of what it means to be mature.
If anything, being mature means self-control. That is why calling something “adult” is so ironic, when used as a prefix to “adult entertainment” or “adult language” — such things are not adult in any way shape or form. Literature is far more adult than porn or profanity. Porn and profanity are the mental and spiritual slums of man-children and woman-girls, physically mature, but stunted beings who do little more than create wreckage for others to repair.
If you think about it, all of civilization is built on self-restraint, selflessness, and delayed gratification. How could there be a harvest if not for the patience of the farmer? How could there be buildings if not for the delayed gratification of the workers who persevered for many days until completion? How would music be made, books written, gadgets built, and so on? How would all of the dishes be done, the children woken in the morning, if there was not selflessness?
Profanity is contrary to all these things — a release for the moment, a disunitive act, a selfish conduit of anger, a vice, a sign and symbol of immaturity for a lost and self-destroying world.