The danger of words

Words are power.

You know that.

We take advantage of words for our creativity or our instigation. We know better. That makes us powerful.

Dangerous.

There’s some drama going on with a group of friends regarding the use of a 4-letter word. Someone typed the F-word into a chat message. The discussion had nothing to do with an action between two bodies, so the word was unnecessary in context. One member particularly viewed it as out of place and asked folks to restrain from using words like that. A different person took offense to that request and stormed off, insulted by the thought that the word could ever be insulting and offensive.

Drama. Really?

I don’t write the word, I don’t say the word. I can’t control someone else, so I don’t judge, but my respect drops for anyone who thinks casual, public swearing is acceptable. I’m not a prude, but intelligent, educated people can communicate without cursing. Any good writer can express frustration or excitement without vulgarity (or parentheses). These friends are not writers, but they are adults. You think they’d know better to keep their expressions family-friendly. Maybe they do, and they don’t care.

Movies use curse words all the time. Hollywood thinks there is a place for those words if the character portrayed is a stereotypical person who uses that word. I don’t, but I can gloss over those words without being offended. Too often, curse words are used gratuitously, not for any emphasis, sprinkled in the script like special effects explosions simply because they can be done. Doing so decreases any emphasis the word is intended to illicit. In books, these words stick out more because we read to process them.

That’s what happened this time. It seemed inappropriate in so many ways.

We give words their power. Sensitivity dictates that N—– and S— are foul words, despite historical context. A—— and C— are body parts used as insults. F— and S— are bodily functions used as verbs, adverbs and adjectives. B—- is a female dog. H— is a religious place used to express frustration, and D— is a directive to go there. Some people fear saying C—– as if naming it makes the incurable disease more potent.

I’m also super cautious about what I share. Once I hit Send, my words and personality are out there for everyone forever. I don’t want my everything out there. You never know.

Speaking of, I don’t know what’s going to happen in my drama-filled world. I sure as h-e-double-hockey-sticks hope these adults become grown ups. You can’t control someone’s reaction, but you can control your own words.

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