Leave It To The Dictionary

The word “gay,” “fag,” or “retarded” isn’t a replacement for the word “stupid” or “ugly.” Slurs like these are the reason why many kids don’t feel like they have a safe space to express themselves for who they are.

The “It Gets Better Project,” founded in 2010, by Dan Savage and his partner, Terry Miller, advocates against the use of the word “gay,” claiming that it’s insulting to use it in place of the word stupid. The same can be said for using “retard.” While the common phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me” is true in some cases, people are greatly affected when surrounded by toxic language.

Profanities have a negative effect on the human brain according to Professor of Psychology at the University of Bristol, Jeffrey S. Bowers, who claims that swearing activates the brain’s fight-or-flight response, causing an increase in cautious behavior. 

While psychologist Richard Stevens claims that cursing can be good to relieve short-term pain, like stubbing a toe against a table, or in a painful situation. Stevens explains that while cursing can be a good thing, those who swear less in day-to-day life have a higher pain tolerance than those who swear frequently when faced with a painful situation.

When going to curse while driving, stubbing a toe, or laughing at something stupid or ugly, think of everyone around, such as: future employers, friends, and family. How will calling something “gay” affect others? Just say something else, and leave it to the dictionary.