Why Do People Cuss?

Why is it that some people seem to be cussing all the time? You can hear people pepper their sentences with so much cussing that you stand there wondering if their dictionary is composed mostly of cuss words. Cussing or swearing, or saying profanities are a part of every person’s vocabulary. The only difference is that some people tend to cuss liberally. They punctuate sentences with cuss words in every shade possible. People who cuss seem to think nothing of it and there are some jobs that seem to invite it. Newspaper editors and coaches are traditionally known and are often depicted to be proficient at this. The stress from their high pressure occupation is attributed to the proclivity for cussing, but, in some offices, cussing your employees is unacceptable. If an employee cusses his superior, it could be grounds for dismissal.

Cussing someone is demeaning to the person being cussed. There are some people who do not like cussing and when it is directed toward them, they understandably feel affronted. Why do people cuss when it hurts the feelings of other people? If they are the ones cussed at, they also feel insulted. They cuss back. Some psychologists explain that swearing is used as a way to relieve stress. When a person hits his thumb with a hammer, you can understand the reason for using these types of words. He feels pain and he has to express it. But what about people who cuss at no provocation? The reason for their behavior may be attributed to their environment. If they grew up around people who curse, they are likely to incorporate cursing as a behavior. They grow up and make cussing as natural as breathing. It is natural and becomes part of their personality. They have no nuance of the negative effect of what they naturally do.

Some people cuss to demean another person. They cuss to feel superior. Bullies cuss to exert dominance over their victims and cuss words are used by abusive husbands to verbally lash at their wife. There is no social acceptable rule that encourages cussing. Although some movie stars, entertainers and talk show hosts are notorious for cussing, it gives them a certain amount of entertainment value and they enjoy the notoriety. However, it is something that is not desirable, especially if you hear it from a child. A parent would not want to raise a child that cusses when he hurts himself. It is appalling
to say the least. Society may find that it is more acceptable for men to cuss than women but it still does not make it right. Humans have an ability to use words creatively, therefore if it is possible to creatively use cuss words then it is certainly possible to replace cuss words with other more socially acceptable ones. Why do people cuss when more appropriate language can be used?

Posted at December 17th, 2011.

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