Profanity Among College Students


Heard throughout movies, music and sometimes even on television and radio, profanity, according to some people, is viewed as a means of expressing oneself while others find it offensive. With curse words so prevalent in the vocabulary of today’s youth, many people debate whether or not it should be tolerated on college campuses.


Many college students feel that using profanity in class or just around campus is more than unnecessary, but rude.


“I think it’s disrespectful in a sense, and I think it makes us look really ignorant,” said Anise Abernathy, a senior biology major at Howard University.  ”We came here to be educated, and we can be educated without cussing.”


Abernathy believes that curse words leave college students ill-prepared for “the real world.”


“You’re not going to use profanity in the work field, so why use it when you’re chillin’?” she said.  ”If people have problems cursing now, it’s going to be hard to stop when they have families.”


Other students agree that profanity should not be used in the college setting. Rory Scott, a senior information technology major at Howard University, feels that college should reflect professional settings.


“As a business student, I don’t feel that profanity is quite professional and it doesn’t exude the intelligence that we are here at the University trying to display,” he said. “Outside of the professional environment, for some people, it’s a way for them to get their points across and show their points of view. But it is possible to have an intelligent conversation without cussing.”

However, not all students think that the use of profanity at college is a problem.


Lawrence Abbott, a senior film major at Howard University, notes that everyone has a right to free speech.


“I don’t really care that much if people cuss,” Abbott said. “I don’t think it’s an issue. Everybody’s entitled to say what they want to say.”


Howard University senior economics major Candice McCollough believes that the use of profanity is disrespectful to both professors and students.


“People don’t take you seriously when you curse a lot,” she said. “But I think people cuss due to a mixture of learned bad habits. Some kids have parents who cuss so they don’t know it’s not a widely accepted practice. It’s also because of peer pressure. Some kids think they’re cool if they cuss and then it just develops into a bad habit.”


All in all, cursing is a choice; so, people should be aware of their audience and speak accordingly.