Thursday, April 30, 2009


So this article highlights an interesting piece of popular culture- cussing. As is discussed in the article, cussing is a social habit that is seemingly hard to get rid of or avoid hearing in public places. But should we even try to eradicate such words from our language? As is discussed in this article, swearing is common on social networking sites like Twitter and MySpace. But what about the trend discussed in this article- that the habit of swearing goes up in times of extreme social stress? The current economy is cited as one cause of this. Another interesting part of this article is the "no-cussing" zones; do you think these could work? What are "the wrong places" and "wrong times" for swearing and does everyone know universally what they are?


  1. I agree that "cussing" does increase in stressful times. But I'm not sure what that has to do with the economy. Does that mean people are going to go around cussing like they have turrets because the economy's in the toilet? I'm not sure. Doubtful, because we have all been socialized to understand that cussing in certain situations and places, like at the office for work, in class (sometimes) or places like church is inappropriate. I believe we are being socialized to be less offended to the use of cuss words, but there is still a general understanding of when not to "swear like a sailor."

  2. This is hilarious to me! Who decides what a cuss word is and when and where is the appropriate time to use them. I have been confused about the usage of some of the words since a little kid. I have never been the type to blurt out a lot of profanity even if I was soooooo thinking it. I will get back to this.

    I agree with Sociologigi’s metaphoric example of tourettes/turrets. Cussing retains a place in popular culture. The media does a fantastic job of highlighting it. I do not believe that the economy is producing an excess usage of cuss words. There are alternatives to cussing to relieve the stresses of the day.

    Now, back to my previous thought: You go to church Sunday morning and you read and hear about going to hell, at work you say Oh hell and it’s like you just cussed Jesus Christ to his face! It is funny that depending on the context of certain words they become offensive. (screw, screw) Socialized? Does the majority use profanity?

  3. I agree with Sociologigi, I do think cussing increases during stressful times. As far as the economy goes, i think there is more cussing because of the stress that is place on people during this time. Therefore i think our society is being more lenent when individuals are cussing more often because our society as a whole is stressed. i dont know?!..
    As far as the cussing times and places.... i dont know about this???... I personally cuss quiet often, however I usally cuss in social setting when I know it is appropriate. :#
    ---I think most people know of the social norms of cussing and when it is okay and not okay...
    hmmmm....interesting article!

  4. It's an interseting idea that cussing increases during times of hardship. I like Drama Mama's idea of thinking it but not saying it; it relates to TroubleBubble's ideas about the social norms. There is a time and a place for everything. However, I think that it has mostly to do with the socialization process. I wasn't taught to censor myself, and I rarely do. Most of the time I can't get through a sentence without using some type of profanity. However, it has more to do with the tone of how something is said rather than the content. It's the meaning we attach to the interaction, bacause not everybody associates profanity with social strain.

  5. I have noticed a norm in the "younger" groups who tend to say the "B" word to each other like it's not a horrible word to say to a person. So this word may have been evolved with the changes of times to actually mean a good "cool" word.

    I've also noticed that they don't seem stressed and in good spirits when it is said. So it may depend on the situation at hand and with who it is being said to.

  6. First of, Conflicted Theorist-we have noticed that you rarely censor yourself....;) However I do agree that it is not the content but the meaning in which we attatch to it that causes it to be profane. While the use and meaning of the word changes over time as society adjusts its acceptance and usage of a word, that one thought remains constant. Its what we attatch to it that causes us to think of it in a negative or positive term. Think of the usage of the word "sick" as a more subtle example..... Very interesting. I myself must admit that I hardly control my swearing. However, I do control it in areas that society states would be deviant if I was to go blabbing my "trucker mouth". Places like this exist as Library, intimate settings, at extremly loud volumes in public, curches etc.... however the social group that I surround myself with in these actual settings might have different standards for the useage of our favorite four letter words :D


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