We tend to use euphemisms a lot in today’s society. It makes us feel better about not using profane language or swearing.
euphemism: A representation of good qualities; particularly in rhetoric, a figure in which a harsh or indelicate word or expression is softened, or rather by which a delicate word or expression is substituted for one which is offensive to good manners or to delicate ears.”(American Dictionary of the English Language, Norah Webster, 1828)
profane: 1. Irreverent to anything sacred; applied to persons. A man is profane when he takes the name of God in vain, or treats sacred things with abuse and irreverence.(American Dictionary of the English Language, Norah Webster, 1828)
2. Irreverent: proceeding from a contempt of sacred things, or implying it; as profane words or language, or implying it… (using a euphemism to soften the profane language of something sacred, such as the use of Gosh or Gads instead of God – added by author)
…To violate anything revered, or treat it with abuse, irreverence, obloquy or contempt; as, to profane the name of God; to profane the sabbath; to profane the Scriptures or the ordinances or God “
swear: 1. to utter or take solemnly (an oath)(online dictionary, July 30, 2022)
2. to bind by an oath
3. to invoke the name of (a sacred being) in an oath
4. to use profane or obscene language “
We often hear such substitutions by Christians for using the Lord’s name in vain in such terms as, “Gosh”, “Golly”, “Gads”, or such like. Even “Lord” or Lordy”. I am guilty of using such, thinking that since I was not actually saying the word “God” it was okay.
When we look up the euphemisms above in an online dictionary today, we find that “Gosh” “Golly”, or “Gads”, for example, are euphemisms used since 1757 or other early dates as euphemisms for “God”. (Merriam Webster online dictionary, July 30, 2022)
“Lord”, “Lawd”, or “Lordy” are no less rife with euphemistic uses of God’s lordship.
Cursing and Swearing…
Another common thing to hear in our culture is the use of curses or swearing when people are hurt, angry, or trying to emphasize a particularly intense emotion. When we say such things as “God damn you!” or “Go to Hell!”, we are actually causing, by our very language, curses to fall upon the recipient or creature. They have had the full brunt of our desire to condemn them fall upon their soul.
And we are liable for it.
Language is the means of communicating between creatures. In the lower animal kingdom, language is rudimentary. It is physical as well as using trills, purrs, growls, and other such vocalizations to express their feelings. There is no reasoning behind their actions. They do not swear, curse, or use vulgarities as their language is the simplistic language of animals.
In human language, however, we are able to express many things including abstract ideas. We create pictures, relate detailed stories and proffer advice using words. Our language is full and complex, with thousands of words to convey our ideas.
Yet, sadly, we continue to devolve in our use of this great gift.
Today, the English language has over 171,476 words listed in a variety of English dictionaries. Of those, less than 10,000 are ever used in normal conversation. And most of those are euphemisms or vulgarities.
We have become so ignorant of the depth of language that we end up substituting our lack of words with common tripe. No understanding of the meaning of the words nor their rudiments has allowed modern languages to devolve into meaningless phrases and obscene profanations.
Words such as “gay” have been hijacked from their roots into something that is not close to its original origins.
And it is purposeful.
The great theft of speech…
This theft of the meaning of language and evolution of definitions has escalated into a fever pitch as of late. But this has been on-going since the Tower of Babel.
Centuries ago, Latin was the common language of the day. Greek was waning, but still in use at that time.
The Catholic Church was rising in popularity. Letters and documents, such as the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681 and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, were held potentially in the Greek language of that time.
But by 330 A.D., Ecclesiastical Latin became the language of the Church. It has remained the only language that has not veered off course from original meanings. And it was done purposefully to prevent changeability of the meaning of what Church teaching was saying.
This is something we have a difficult time with in our modern culture. A word said innocently and in correct context with correct definition to one person will be taken as an insult or racist or misogynistic by another.
There was great wisdom in what the Church had done at that time.
But it is being sent to the wayside by some for the sake of embracing the every-changing language and culture of today. One only has to look at the past three years to see just how far this has gone. And how much controversy and scandal it has created.
But back to the topic…
In a similar way, the use of euphemisms today is the assured way to further confound Truth. Language has a power that most don’t understand. It can raise an man to life, or condemn him to hell. It can strengthen or weaken, shame or lift up.
Language is considered ruled by the spirit of the air. What is spoken is often what comes to pass.
Curses said in passing or out of anger can target the outcome of a person’s soul, or at least the direction their life will take.
Look at the times teachers berated students out of frustration, or parents telling their kids to “go to Hell” when angry. It changes the dynamic not only in relationships, but also in their perception of themselves.
They are essentially cursed. And more than this, they are cursed to damnation, which is forbidden.
We are told, “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.” (James 5:12)
The final prognosis…
You speak and it is fulfilled. You have been created in the image of God. What you say will be fulfilled. If you curse someone saying, “God damn you!”, you are commanding the Good Lord to invoke condemnation on another.
Be careful what you speak. It isn’t just the emotion behind them, but the words themselves. And what we condemn of another falls back on us.
“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Speak of those things that are good, pure, holy, beautiful, uplifting. (Philippians 4:8)
Be God-like and pure in speech. For what you project using language will come back to you in the end.