How Profanity Can Hurt You

Colourful language isn’t as harmless as you think

BY PHILL FELTHAM

Have you ever watched a movie where swearing seems to occur constantly? Have you ever wondered how many swear words are in your favourite movies?

Some of my favourite movies were Kevin Smith’s Dogma (100 f-words) and American Pie (50 f-words) . Most recently, Oscar winning movies such as American Sniper and Birdman both have over 100 f-bombs. Hey, I am not making these facts up, nor am I taking the time to sit through these movies to jot down the number of times these characters are dropping f-bombs to prove a point. (Although, I do appreciate the boys over at www.pluggedin.ca for doing the swear word count.)

Why is using a myriad of profane words even necessary? When I ask this question to other persons, I stand in astonishment over their answers. Dogma and American Pie are easy explanations. Each movie contains no real substance in terms of content. Although, in Dogma, I could appreciate some of Kevin Smith’s thoughts on religion; however, the repetitious swearing prevented his message from truly coming across effectively.

My answer to watching Dogma and American Pie was: “I enjoy the movies”. For myself, the insults and the swearing were simply funny. No real reason necessary. Those who didn’t appreciate the movies. Whatever. For those who spoke outwardly about it, “prudes”.

Oscar winners such as Birdman and American Sniper are a little trickier. Some movies might supposedly need the swear words in order to mirror reality. For example, many military movies, such as American Sniper, use profanity to illustrate soldiers at war. Admittedly, soldiers fighting for their lives are less concerned with their verbiage and more concerned about staying alive. However, most of us watching these movies are not soldiers, and we are not fighting for our lives. The point is: where do you draw the line?

SWEARING DOES DAMAGE

#1
PROFANITY IS COMMONPLACE
According to Time Magazine, roughly 0.7 percent of the words used from a person is profanity. Imagine a conversation with someone who uses three percent profanity; Eddie Murphy, the famous actor from 48 Hours and Shrek, can now take a bow.

#2
SWEARING HURTS KIDS
According to Time Magazine, children—even toddlers—often learn a four letter word before learning the alphabet.

#3
PROFANITY PROMOTES LAZINESS
Think about it. If every other word used is profane, a person doesn’t really give him or herself the opportunity to expand his or her vocabulary. As a journalist, I sometimes struggle to pinpoint the exact usage of words when writing articles.

#4
PROFANITY HINDERS COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Some people can only communicate effectively using four letter words. When I am emotionally charged, I often have a hard time communicating vital information to my spouse. My mind automatically connects to profanity instead of other less offensive words. Additionally, profanity, offensive in nature, causes many people not to fully listen to the offender’s vital information.

#5
PROFANITY EASES EMOTIONAL PAIN
A study exists, according to Time Magazine, that swearing can physiologically affect your body. The study reveals that swearing actually helps alleviate pain from your body. Admittedly, I sometimes swear to alleviate surges of anger after stubbing my toe or after other unfortunate incidents. I struggle with trying to find other methods of handling my anger in this regard.

HOW TO STOP USING PROFANE WORDS

#1
FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
According to WikiHow, finding an accountability partner can prove helpful in keeping your not-so-pleasant words in check.

#2
AVOID TRIGGERS
Avoid triggers that cause you to swear. Movies that use a myriad of swear words keeps these cuss words in your mind as well as gives you the notion that swearing is acceptable. Other suggestions would be to leave thirty minutes earlier to avoid rush hour, and, if possible, walk away from a project that is causing you too much strife.

#3
REFLECT ON YOUR WORDS
After ’slip up’, reflect on the words that you just said, and think of ways (write them down) on how can alter your response more effectively in the future.

#4
USE ALTERNATIVE WORDS
Find other ways to communicate your message. This is harder during emotional experiences, but this is wear it matters most.
I love this one. This has been a tried-and-true method for me. Use words or phrases such as “poop”, “darn”, “forget that”, and the ever famous, “shut the front door”. Eventually, attempt to replace the aforementioned words and phrases using more sophisticated verbiage.

#5
WORK AT IT
My attempts to reform my profanity usage has taken years. It’s a skill that doesn’t come over night, particularly if it is commonplace or if you use it to alleviate intense emotions. But, I believe in you. You can do it.

Educated or Informed?

Uneducated or uninformed?

BY NIGEL BARHAM

A thought that just came to me: I think it is better to use the word “informed” and not “educated” when talking about a person’s understanding. Bullet sub-points:

+ A person can know little about reality and have a PhD in stalactite and be called educated. Meanwhile, a person with no degrees (i.e., a big percentage of the mega-world-changers I know) may be called uneducated.

+ Education is critical.

-But isn’t it more important to be ‘informed’ about things that matter: e.g., what kids and teenagers and young people and middle-aged people and the elderly care about, how much we are impacted by our economic/social/moral/eco/etc environments?

+ Being informed requires discipline. (Getting ‘educated’ requires discipline too.) Being informed means reading/learning about what you may not be interested in all the time (e.g., reading the ‘world’ section of the newspaper as compared to the gossip section).

+ Being informed often means hearing it firsthand. Which means relationships.

First Aid Items For Your Vacation

Stay healthy abroad.

Here are some helpful items to include in your first-aid kit for when you go on your trip. Or, if you have an injury while on your vacation, visit your local grocery or convenience store to find these items.

1) BURN CREAM- Many people have ended up with a first, second or third degree burn when fixing their car and/or lighting a fire/barbeque.  Burn Creams such as aleo vera cream and/or an antibiotic cream can help reduce pain for first and second  degree burns.  However these should not be used for third degree burns and should be treated medically immediately.

2) PLASTIC GLOVES & MOUTH PIECE- These are important to make sure your safety and/or anyone else’s safety if you ever have to administer first aid and/or CPR.

3) MOUTHWASH (if alcohol based) can work as a sterilizer for wounds and instruments (for example, tweezers), and an accelerator for a fire for warmth and cooking.

4) INSTANT COLD PACKS- Apply to a sprain, or swelling in case of injury.

5) TWEEZERS- Can be used to pick out stones and splinters out of wounds, and used as a tool for small jobs.
– Jamie Carpenter

Fear of Weakness

God uses our weaknesses for his glory.

BY NIGEL BARHAM

Last night when I was hanging out with friends, someone suggested we each share one of our fears. When it came around to me, I couldn’t think of anything I was willing to share. The second question was, If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be? (In other words, What is one of your weaknesses?) Again, my answer was pathetic.

I look back now and realize that my “unresponses” answered both questions perfectly. That is, one of my weaknesses is to fear how people will respond if I make myself vulnerable.

When I consider James 5:16 (“confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed”), it’s a shame that I passed up such a good opportunity. Indeed, the Holy Spirit has been working overtime recently to show me how wracked with weaknesses I really am. Arrogance and everything surrounding that. Seeking great things for myself. A too-frequent lack of wisdom and restraint. A severe shortage of grace for others. Over-sensitivity to others’ criticism (which is often close to the truth, if not right on). The list goes on.

But as if my weaknesses (i.e., sin, shortcomings, etc) aren’t enough, as I think about it, I am overwhelmed even with my weakness as a confessor. That is:
-I like to compare myself to others and think and hope I’m not that bad (or when I’m extra-arrogant, still better)
-I’m willing to confess if I can “balance” it with a strength (e.g., I have trouble getting up early, but I have a lot of self-discipline after that)
-I am quicker to confess sins that I [think I] have improved on because “I’m better now”
-Sometimes I want to confess primarily because it’ll make me feel better (not because I offended God or another person)
-I prefer to confess when the other person will confess back
-I like to confess if it will make me look humble

Ouch. Talk about hypocrisy.

Lord, thank you for your mercy. And help me to realize more and more that the fact you call me a saint (!) is thanks to nothing but your grace.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
“Slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness” – Psalm 103:8

Eurail Pass 101

Save money and avoid headaches on Europe’s universal train.

1.) Travel before you’re 26 if possible, as 26 is the magic number throughout Europe. There are discounts on tours and entrance fees and especially the Eurail Pass. If you’re not, that’s okay too. There are other specials available with a little research.

2.) Get the Eurail Pass and get it before you leave. If you have a pass, you can save a lot of money if you’re traveling across western Europe. In addition, if you’re heading to the UK, the BritRail pass is also well worth it. Train tickets also increase much in price closer to the departure date, and more often than not, you won’t be planning every train trip weeks in advance.

3.) Before using your Eurail pass, find out what trains take you to your destination. The Pass lists most trains, but there are others available. So, to avoid being checked mid-journey and having to pay more, ask at the station before boarding. And then ask again, just to be sure.
– Janet Moore

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