What the ...

MADISON, Wis. -- Cursing. Are you sick of hearing it? Granted, the Constitutional right to "free speech" is for the non-religious and religious alike, but let's face it: all ways of speaking are not equally noble.

In this article, I would like each of us (including myself) to consider a higher degree of verbal honor. I hope to challenge our proud and profes¬sional warriors with some practical reasons not to curse:

·Cursing is unprofessional
·It reflects poorly on you, the unit, the wing, and the coun¬try
·It is rude and offensive
·It exhibits limited vocabulary
·It turns off a potential/actual life-long mate
·It is verbal abuse and belittles the listener
·It sets a poor example for subordinates
·It potentially exposes personal anger, powerlessness and frustration and could call leadership qualities into question

The word "vulgar" comes from the Latin vulgaris/vulgus meaning "the common people." Synonyms for vulgar include "inferior, lower-class, low-life." Stop and think a minute. Will you stand out above your peers if your undisciplined speech is as coarse and morally crude as the next guy? If you think cursing speaks in favor of your next promotion, try using it in your next performance report!

Think about Core Values a minute. How can you use the F-bomb with integrity or in actual service (to others) before self and with excel¬lence in all you do? Using it once contradicts all three.

Think about the Airman's Creed. What is so "faithful to a proud heritage, a tradition of honor and a legacy of valor" in cursing? It is well known our first Commander in Chief, General George Washington, did not allow it among his ranks. He said, "The foolish and wicked practice of profane curs¬ing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it." Granted, General Patton allowed it but didn't his lack of verbal constraint foreshadow an instance of lack of physical constraint? Pardon the pun, but our words "speak" of our self-control and "tell" of the lack thereof.

Finally, for those of you who are open to hearing spiritual reasons from America's richly meaningful Judeo-Christian heritage, consider this. Of the 600-plus commandments of God in the Bible, only ten are in the "Top Ten List" (the Ten Commandments) and even they are ranked in a particular order. In no less than third, God tells Moses, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain."

As an Airman who all too often talks crudely, I struggle with this. James 3:8-10 puts the impossibility of perfection before us when he writes, "No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." None of us "can tame the tongue" but rather than following this with "so why even try" he maintains God's standard -- "Cursing... should not be."

For the sake of Him who made the tongue and for every lesser reason, may we call each other to a higher degree of verbal honor.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Department of the Air Force does not exercise any responsibility or oversight of the content at external link destination.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of linked web sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided consistent with the mission of this web site.