Have curse words lost their shock value?

Columnist Darryl Lewis. Photo courtesy: Lewis.

Curse words have been around forever, but do they have the same shock factor today that they had in the past? Although only a select few words fall under the category of “curse word,” if used in the wrong setting or in front of the bad people, you could be judged for your word choice, and it could cost you your job or your affect your grade.

The use of curse words was uncommon in the Middle Ages. People were usually seen as uneducated or of a lower social class if they used this kind of language, according to an article written by Meena Pannirselvam in the Daily Nebraskan.

Today the use of curse words is more common. This is because everyday conversations, music and television have a relaxed approach to the use of curse words. Today’s average discussion will include curse words, not because the people talking are mad at each other but because they are comfortable enough to speak with their friend in that way.

“Friends and I curse when we talk to each other all the time,” Kevin Page, a 20-year-old business administration student at FAMU, said. “We don’t even notice it we’re so used to it. We’re talking.”

Though some may feel that curse words have lost their shock value, some people still feel as if this selection of dishes is inappropriate. This is usually an older person probably born anywhere from the ’60s to the late 80s.

“Coming up it was, ‘Yes m’am, no m’am.’ Anytime you spoke, you spoke with manners,” Mary Jackson, 45, said. “We wouldn’t think about cursing out in public casually.”

Music has been affected by curse words losing their shock value as well. Before today’s music, an artist would have to make two versions of their songs: the explicit version and the radio edit, which would swap all the things said on the explicit version for something clean sounding to be played on the radio. Today artists make one version of their song, and don’t worry too much about making a radio edit version. They focus on making the song and promoting it because most people want to hear the explicit version.

“I don’t like listening to the clean version of songs,” FAMU student Lexxus Roberts said. ” I feel like I am missing the message the song is sending because I am missing keywords of the songs.”