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The Use of Vulgarity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,344 times Debate No: 18606
Debate Rounds (3)
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Ever since vulgarity has been used, there have been constant debates on its impacts. Of course, there is a certain religious element to it - in that many believe swearing to be a sin, and detrimental to society - but I'd like to look more specifically at its use in day-to-day communication. While several people claim that using vulgar language is immature and inappropriate, especially in a place of work, I see it as being beneficial in certain cases; in fact, I'd even go so far as to call obscenity a literary technique. Certain individuals find that foul language is harmful to a piece of writing, whereas in my eyes, it can be used to emphasize a certain element, so long as it is utilized in the correct way.

Firstly, I'd like to bring up the point that several others have made in the past: these are, after all, just words. In and of themselves, they don't carry any offensive meaning (that is, depending on the context). Some may have a sexual connotation, such as f**k, others may have a simply unpleasant meaning, such as sh*t. However, using these two examples, one could also point to a context in which the words simply express a particular emotion; for instance, if you use the word f**king , it instantly attracts attention to a statement, and also gives off an accurate vibe of anger and aggression. Referring to 'stuff' as 'sh*t' also demonstrates a negative connection with what is being referred to. In this regard, these words can be thought of as effective communicative techniques, no less respectable than antithesis or hyperbole.

Now, of course, there are limits that must be placed on the use of this kind of language. Overusing any swear is the same as using another word repetitively; if a person says the word 'banana' six times in a sentence, it's going to sound strange and rather irritating, and the same goes for any obscenity. As such, one should exercise self-control and limit how frequently they use this type of language. Another noteworthy factor is how these words can be used in an offensive way. Of course, referring to someone by an inappropriate name, be it a racial slur or an insulting slang term, is to put a negative connotation to these words. Not to say that this is never justified, but it makes sense that someone would view these as 'bad words' when used in that way. Because of this, one must always know what they're saying and what their intents are before speaking.

Finally, the use of vulgarity in film, television, or literature is a highly controversial topic. Many claim that inappropriate language ruins a piece of art; once again, I disagree with this belief. Swearing is used to establish realism in a piece of art - if a character finds himself in a stressful and upsetting situation, he is not going to use politically correct language. If he does, this makes him seem artificially written and entirely unrealistic. As well, such language can also be used to portray a character's personality, or his environment. A teenage boy is not going to refer to sex as 'copulation' or 'coitus'; of course he is going to describe it using foul language. So, it seems to be that establishing a character's attitude and surroundings is just another advantage of vulgarity.

In summary, I am of the mind that we should not make swearing such a sensitive topic. If it is used correctly, it can enrich a piece of writing, and add a certain tone to what we say. While one must exercise caution is using this type of language, it should not be ruled out completely.


Hello. Alright, you think that swearing, or using vulgarity is alright. I agree with you to some point, but it has negative consequences to it. I will go more into detail once round 2 starts. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


As a new user here, I made the mistake of presenting all my major points in Round 1. I should have simply made that an acceptance round, but as it stands, my points are presented above. Thank you for accepting the debate. I'll now hand things over to my opponent.


mandmandmbaby forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


masonw125 forfeited this round.


Alright, using vulgarity is wrong to a point like I have said. It could catch on to younger generations and they would be using vulgarity as much as adults do these days. Most people don't want that to happen. There is almost no further reason why so, I should conclude this round as of now. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
masonw125 You don't have to make the first round the acceptance round. In fact many people don't.

It's not standard debate rules, but allot of people prefer too, which is why you see so many debates when the first round is for acceptance.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit, leaving con with the last word.