PROFANITY AMONG BOYS [Editorial]

New York Times

The statement made in a letter to THE TIMES this morning byMr. GEORGE WRIGHT that blasphemous and degrading language is increasingnot only among the illiterate but "among those in the higher walks oflife" may be doubted. Quite possibly profanity is increasing among boys.
 
Oaths and their imitations are introduced in speech for theirexclamatory effect, not primarily as a sign of irreverence. They areusually meaningless, affording the voice merely the opportunity toexpress elemental moods of impatience, braggadocio, and the like. Theuse of "swear words" is essentially a sign of illiteracy; anexpletive means something serving to fill out, and expletives areemployed by persons who have not sufficient command of language toselect fitting words to convey their thoughts and feelings. The resultis ridiculous when it is not painful. A profane man does notstrengthen his parts of speech, he weakens them by his profanity.Parents and school teachers would do well to make the boysunderstand the principle that, when suitable words, are lacking,silence is wisest.

Related Biographies:

George Wright

Acknowledgements

Mark Baber

Citation

Encyclopedia Titanica (2005) PROFANITY AMONG BOYS [Editorial] (New York Times, Wednesday 30th June 1909, ref: #4890, published 9 November 2005, generated 3rd June 2020 01:45:39 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/wright-profanity-2.html