Why Do People Curse?

Whenever a person hears the word curse, one of the images that come to mind is that of a witch or witch doctor chanting spells and predicting dire events for the object of their ire. The offending party is usually clueless about this at first, shrugs it off then a series of mishaps happens, or a fatal illness falls on him and his family members. This is how stories usually present curses to the public. A curse is an utterance meant to cause harm or ill-fortune to the person it is directed at. The person who utters the curse is either the offended party or was hired by them. It was done as a form of revenge. The curse may be administered as a simple verbal pronunciation or as part of a ritual. Some form of religious ceremony is practiced to make the curse ritual more sinister. It certainly makes it look interesting on celluloid.

These days a curse is an offhand remark that a person spouts off like an interjection. It is no longer as dire or as sinister as it used to be when you would have people quaking in their boots when one was directed at them. Today it is as common as expectorating. People curse when they stub their toe, pour coffee over themselves, when they miss their bus, when someone bumps into them, when they lose something, when they lose a game, when something bad is about to happen, or for no reason whatsoever. Why do people curse so much? Some people believe that cursing is a way for people to express how they feel but have no words to adequately or creatively express it. For some individuals, cursing is a way of life. It is probably something they learned from their parents as they were growing up so that it has become second nature for them.

Although people who curse often do not think twice about what they do, people who curse, swear or speak profanities are sometimes considered uncouth. Admittedly, there are certain media personalities who have become famous because of their colorful swearing. While it is entertaining for some sectors, a person who doesn’t have anything more creative in their vocabulary will look askance. There are certain settings where cursing is frowned upon and however appropriate the person who is cursing thinks it is, it is not deemed as funny. Some groups believe that cursing is inappropriate and would tend to look with disfavor on the person who does swear, especially in a strict professional setting, or if you curse at your superiors. Whatever the reason for cursing, whether it is to project malevolence or to express yourself, the habit of cursing should be put in perspective if not eradicated altogether. It will certainly keep your children from wondering “why do people curse?”

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