I’m writing a paper in my composition class right now. It’s a “This I Believe” paper. If you’re not familiar with what this is I’ll give you a quick briefing.
During its four years on NPR, This I Believe engaged listeners in a discussion of the core beliefs that guide their daily lives. We heard from people of all walks of life — the very young and the very old, the famous and the previously unknown, Nobel laureates, teachers, prison inmates, students, politicians, farmers, poets, entrepreneurs, activists and executives.
Although the NPR series has concluded, the project lives on at the This I Believe Website, thisibelieve.org. There, you can peruse all of the statements of belief submitted to the project, contribute your own essay, and subscribe to the This I Believe podcast. (npr.org)
So, basically, we write about something that we believe in (one guy wrote about how he believes that there can never be enough bar be que sauce.)
I’m writing about how I don’t think that cursing is bad. Now, my mom and grandma read this so I won’t divulge too much, but I do occasionally curse. Sometimes it just helps get the point across. What will also be in the essay is how I believe that books should not be banned for cursing. Cursing is a part of life, and to try to hide that, or sugarcoat it, is ridiculous and makes it seem like the people who are banning these books are trying to live in a fantasy world where every one gets along and doesn’t cuss at all.
While doing a little bit of research for this, I found a very interesting article on scientifamerican.com (you can use that link to find the article), says that if you endure pain, swearing will help relieve the pain. A study was done on college students. They had their hands submerged in ice water and were able to repeat an expletive of their choice or chant a neutral word. 67 of the students who cursed said that they felt less pain and were able to stay submerged for 40 seconds longer than the ones who did not swear.
Swearing also helps with expressing emotion. A psychologist at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts who has studied our use of profanities for the past 35 years said, “It allows us to vent or express anger, joy, surprise, happiness,” he remarks. “It’s like the horn on your car, you can do a lot of things with that, it’s built into you.” However, if you curse too often you will grow immune to it and it will no longer hold the magical healing powers.
So, now I’m asking for your opinions. How do you feel about cursing in public? Do you use it commonly, to express emotion, to relieve pain, or just use it in passing? Your comments may be used to help with the effectiveness of my paper. :)