This archived article was written by: Jessa Love Adams
Tiffany Sharples wrote an article in Time magazine called “Why Swearing Helps Ease Pain.” She talks about how curse words help you cope and reduce physical pain. She quotes psychologist Richard Stephens, “The No. 1 priority is to make the pain go away. If [swearing] made the pain worse, that would be illogical.
Sharples says, “In Stephen’s study, swearing reduced the perception of pain more strongly in women than in men.” Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker is quoted by Sharples who says men swear more than women and suspects that swearing retains more of an emotional punch because it has not been overused.
Sharples also quotes Pinker in her article, “That’s one of the reasons that I think people should not overuse profanity in their speech and writing. That’s not because I’m prude, but because it blunts swear words of their power when you do need them. You should save them for just the right occasion.”
I agree that swearing does help relieve pain. When you burn your tongue because you drank your latte to fast, or you stubbed your toe, or you get a paper cut- swearing makes it feel better. I know this because like many humans, I to swear to relieve pain and other emotions. But it makes me think why do we give these “words” so much power and why do we use them so much?
The only reason why these words relieve pain is because we give them power to do so. We can give any word power, so why do we use profanity? For example, my mom uses the words “French toast” instead of another four-letter word that starts with “F.” To me I think it’s better because it’s cleaner and funnier. She gives the words “French toast” the same power she once gave the “F” word. Our brains can come up with other words and give them power, we just need to let them.
We use profanity every day, in fact we overuse it to the point where we sound arrogant. For example the movie Superbad, the “F” word is in every sentence. This is become annoying and makes the characters and entire movie stupid and a waste of my time. Another example of this is the other day I was in the Walmart parking lot and I overheard three boys talking. One of the boys said this exact sentence. “You should have seen the f____ing truck, it was f____ing bad a__.” Now the swear words he used are totally unnecessary and made this boy look really immature.
I agree with what Sharples puts in her article that Pinker said, people should not overuse profanity. Not just because overusing it takes away the power we give the words, but because it makes us sound arrogant.