What Is Vulgar Speech?

Many people assume that vulgar speech is when one uses the stereotypical “cuss” words. Although I understand this approach, and that it is largely rooted in conservative religious culture, I propose a different definition.

Vulgar speech hurts people, no matter the words used. I have seen people use “cuss” words in a fully playful manner, especially between friends or spouses, and everything is cool. Nobody’s getting hurt and everyone is having fun.

Then there are the ones that do not use these words, but still say some hurtful things. In other words, I propose that one does not have to use one of the traditional “cuss” words in order to be vulgar.

An example from my personal life:

A good friend of mine, at least, I thought we were good friends, recently stopped interacting with me on social media. We had a friendship that went deeper than that. Sometimes we spoke on the phone, and we helped each other out. When I tried to reconnect, their response was essentially;

“…I try to limit my exposure to mentally unstable people.”

Not a single cuss word, but I would consider that to be vulgar. I didn’t ask to have mental disorders. Alot of mental disorders are born in trauma. If you do not have a mental disorder, then it could likely mean that

A. your brain works properly to combat stress and other pressures

B. you have not experienced the intense traumas that other people have

There is nothing wrong with either of these. In fact, I am jealous. My wife and I have had several conversations along these lines. She is basically healthy in every way possible. She has told me things like, “I’m sorry you have been through so much shit.” <– Not vulgar, but empathetic and encouraging.

So, while it may be tempting to adopt or keep a shallow understanding of vulgarity, I encourage each and every one of you to think before you speak,especially if you self-identify as “Christian.” It’s not always easy, and I am guilty of this, too, especially under pressure.

Loved ones and friends are most affected by our words. It’s important to remember this.

Wagen, over and out.