Foul Language

By Ron Ross

“Please leave your profanity outside!” was a sign I saw on the door of a local restaurant. Seems to me we shouldn’t need such a sign in a public place. However we do live in a society where course talk is commonplace. Television shows and movies are increasingly laced with profanity, often injected not to advance the story but to shock the audience.

What’s with all the profanity now commonly used by all ages - children through senior citizens? Here are five observations about foul language and the world we live in:

Observation 1: Profanity is dim-witted. Any dunce can spew out a few obscene words to fill the void of a feeble vocabulary, embellish a story, or respond to a provocation. To speak intelligently takes, well, intelligence, duh. Someone said, “When a man uses profanity to support an argument, it indicates that either the man or the argument is weak – probably both.”

Observation 2: Profanity is easy to learn. Remember when you were a kid and you heard your first curse word? It was fixed permanently in your mind upon first hearing even if you didn’t know what it meant. If I could teach you five new profanities followed by five new blessings, which do you think would be the easiest to recall? We both know the answer. Why, I wonder, are profane words, curses, and filthy stories so easy to learn and use?

As a young minister I stopped in to visit with an old high-school friend who was married and had a three-year-old son. He had taught his little boy a variety of curse words and was anxious for him to perform his disgusting vocabulary for me. I listened with horror as this little child spat out a series of filthy words that would embarrass a drunken sailor; his father laughed; I did not.

Observation 3: Profanity is a weapon. If you want to get one-up on the other guy, just dress him down with a profane word play spat out with a look of anger and spite. You will leave him speechless and wounded and your accompanying adrenaline rush will make you feel like a powerful person when in fact you are a witless embarrassing conversational cripple.

Observation 4: Profanity is optional. I had a basketball buddy who used the famous “F” word with nearly every phrase he spoke. He was also the coach for his granddaughter’s softball team. I wanted to ask him how difficult it was for him to leave that word out of his sentences when he was coaching the 12-year-old girls. I guess even the vilest profane talkers can adjust their vocabulary to fit the audience although accidents do happen and a curse word or two can be dropped on the wrong audience.

Observation 5: Profanity is not necessary. There is hardly any conversation where profanity communicates better than an intelligent powerful and sharp-pointed verbal punch.

If you are addicted to profanity you are embarrassing yourself while offending others. Start today to substitute pleasing words for profane words, blessings instead of curses. Don’t tell dirty stories tell clean ones. Don’t use profanity, use propriety. Don’t use defamatory words, use congratulatory words.

You will raise your self-esteem and those around you will find you much more likeable!

Note: Many parents concerned about all the profanity on TV should check out They have a way to filter out bad language so you or your children do not have to hear it.

©2016 Ronald D. Ross

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ron Ross (B.A., M.Div., D.Th.), author/speaker/publisher.For more from Dr. Ross please visit his site: