Swearing is soothing

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Sorry mom and dad, but soap in my mouth didn’t work; I’m still a cusser, and much of that is because swear words don’t harm anyone.

Spoken too often, dirty words lose their impact, like effective pickup lines on Tinder. Place one — or two, or five — of them in dialogue with purpose, though, and any joke, work story or speech becomes better.

Also, let’s face it: Swearing is like smoking for healthy people because it just calms you down.

Cussing relates to larger issues as well — particularly on college campuses. University administrators tangling with students over their Constitutional rights makes national headlines often. Those who oppose profanity say it leads to an unsafe classroom environment. On the other side, swearing proponents wonder how productive people can worry about four-letter words when larger issues loom.

Both Dixie State University student opinion and scholars back up the latter.

Cordell Pearson, a junior psychology major from Circleville, said swear words are like fists: Don’t go flinging them around carelessly, and fellow students should not be bothered. 

“I don’t think it’s an issue,” he said. “ … we are all mature adults, and we should handle hearing those things as long as they are not [hostile] toward someone.”

Pearson also said campus-imposed rules in regards to cussing seem unnecessary because we all have the tool that makes line-crossing obvious, well, hopefully.

“I think common sense decides what’s crossing the line,” Pearson said. “People should be educated enough to know where it’s OK to say those things.”

And not only do academics agree with Pearson; they highlight swearing’s benefits. According to the psychologicalscience.org article “The Science of Swearing,” the action has surprising health benefits.

Stub a toe or bite a tongue and swear away, authors Timothy Jay and Kristin Janschewitz said.

“Recent work … even shows that swearing is associated with pain tolerance,” they said. “This finding suggests swearing has a cathartic effect, which many of us may have personally experienced in frustration or in response to pain.”

Is it just me, or did dirty words never sound so healing?

So DSU community, you took my cigarettes, but don’t snatch my freedom to express myself. Without these words, I struggle to communicate and excel in social situations. With them — in moderation — I have a tool to utilize when stuck in a difficult situation, to break the ice with group project partners and to deploy when “freaking” or “darn” just don’t some up my feelings.