Should Language Be Censored?

The language is the primary means of communication of people. It helps in expressing human personalities, emotions and feelings. Speech is the fundamental person’s right, and he/she can use it in his/her own way to express some opinions and beliefs. Thus, the one can speak his/her mind and show personality through words and activities. Nowadays, censorship is used to examine and delete any words that may seem violent or swear in everyday life, on the TV and in literature. However, censoring language prevents people from speak their minds in the way they want. As a result, authors cannot publish novels with violence, although the presence of the latter shows the real content of their opinions. Furthermore, the TV cannot demonstrate the real state of affairs due to censorship implemented by the government. In all cases, the language should not be censored because it enables to express things, emotions and thoughts without latent meanings.

To start with, surveys show that approximately 72-58% of Americans swear in public (“Should Offensive Language Be Censored?”). Nowadays, adults and teens are overload with deals and information and say that swearing helps them cope with stress and speak their mind clearly. These statistical facts state that swear words are now a common constituent of humans’ everyday vocabulary. A possible reason for which this language is used is an emotional release for many people, which is as natural as infants’ crying. Swear words are a response to some nervous situations, and it is the main cause why humans tend to use them rather frequently. While swearing is a typical phenomenon currently, censorship seems rather redundant. Moreover, surveys also indicate that 58% of respondents believe that humans who swear are more honest in comparison to those who do not (“Should Offensive Language Be Censored?”). An argument against is that humans who do not swear are perhaps more conservative morally and consciously decide not to do this. Moreover, while some humans find out some words violent and swear, considering the need for those to be censored, others suppose that these words are rather adequate for everyday usage (Town). For example, the boy told the girl that she was fatty; the latter took offense, while the former did not want to offend her because he liked such types of women and meant to praise her. Thus, it is important to mind that some established communication rules are not usually appropriate to some people and situations. Nonetheless, swearing often aids in alleviating stress and is the chief method to release restrained frustration.

In today’s society, censorship does not only cover swear words that help humans express their opinions, but also some communication disabilities, which do not allow those people to communicate confidently. There are persons in the world, who cannot pronounce some sounds and others, and they usually face unpleasant situations when others do not understand them or do not want to interact with them, or even laugh when they start talking (Perez-Pena). For example, I had a classmate who could not pronounce the ‘r’ sound, and other students usually laughed at him and made faces of the manner in which he was talking. One more language disability that is censored is stuttering. Society usually treats stutters in a rather cruel way, and it is no wonder because it requires much patience to listen to such people, whose conversations are somehow longer than the ones of ordinary persons. However, stutters are just the same people as all, and an unhealthy attitude to them shows person’s unstable psyche and impatience. A good example is Philip, who was treated badly by the teacher due to his disability, and it led to much uncertainty and the lack of the desire to talk and even study (Perez-Pena). However, the proper treatment of people with such disabilities leads to their confidence while talking and increases the possibility to cure the patient.

The language should not be censored because quotes, songs, literature or films must be shown in their primary shape. Censorship makes authors of such works eliminate significant parts of texts, and it makes the latter sound somehow different from their primary meaning. However, in such books, the process of censoring language really serves the purpose of deleting pieces due to violence, swear words, or whatever they contain. Pat Conroy stated, “About the novels your county just censored: The Prince of Tides and Beach Music are two of my darlings which I would place before the altar of God and say, ‘Lord, this is how I found the world you made.” These scenes contain violence, but the author explained that he used it in his novels because of his life experience as a son of a fighter pilot that had to kill hundreds of people in Korea. beating the author’s mother and seven kids, when he was angry and when they did not implement his orders (Conroy). The theme of violence is familiar to Conroy, remembering his youngest brother, Tom, committing a suicide through jumping off a fourteen-story house. Furthermore, his French teacher ended her existence with a pistol. Therefore, all these cases show that violence surrounded the author. Moreover, Conroy further explains that his aunt was brutally abducted in Atlanta; eight of his classmates were killed in Vietnam; and his best friend was murdered in a car wreckage in Mississippi last summer. Thus, Conroy states that violence has always been part of his world. The censorship of Conroy’s texts can lead to the lack of their originality, and readers will not understand the idea the author wants to express. Finally, Conroy highlights, “In Beach Music, I wrote about the Holocaust and lack the literary powers to make that historical event anything other than grotesque.” Here, the author states that the language must not be censored to show the real world with the help of violent words.

Censorship is not only used for adult novels but also for the child’s literature. An example is the fact that Rosenblatt states, “Spokane, Washington, they wanted to remove the children's picture book Where’s Waldo? from the elementary school library.” People struggled to object the book because it was claimed to contain explicit subject matter. Censorship covered the child’s literature, which had not been usually touched by it. One more event happened in Springfield, Virginia, where a book called Hitler’s Hang-Ups was banned because it told “explicit sexual details about Hitler’s life” (Rosenblatt). However, telling about Hitler’s life is a story of violence itself, which should not target children, but adults, and sexual details made it more realistic. Thus, the latter should not be deleted and censored if the work is intended for adult readers. In Astoria, Oregon, the Wait Till Helen Comes book was disputed in an elementary school because censorship claimed that it gave a morbid portrayal of death (Rosenblatt). Thus, there are views that some works must be banned because of violence. However, the author cannot speak his mind without using those words; and such books should not target children, but adults.

Censorship is a really unnecessary tool in nowadays lives, even in the most striking cases like pornographic language in magazines and the Internet. The questions of pornography and obscenity are worth considering in relation to the theme of censorship. The Internet is available worldwide nowadays, and these are not only adults, but also children, who have access and can use online services and read interesting data on sites. While some people claim that censorship must be implemented on the Internet because children can read forbidden sites, I do not support this idea because if this pornographic information is online, it is interesting for someone, and should be restricted for adult use only. Moreover, cites with pornographic language usually demand to confirm that a person is 18-year old or require registration with an email-address that children cannot have (Kristol). Humans are also concerned about swear words that are used on the Internet sites. However, I believe that those who do not want to encounter information with such words will not be surfing such cites and avoid them anyway.

To conclude, communication is certainly an action of person’s release of emotions, feelings and personality, and censorship limits this process, meaning the encroachment on person’s freedom and rights. Language should not be censored because surveys show that saying swear words helps a person eliminate his/her negative emotions that leads to stress shortage and a positive effect on health. One more reason for preventing censorship is communication disabilities and stuttering cases that enable a human to talk freely and clearly. Censorship impacts these disabilities negatively because people usually make jokes and laugh at humans with language impairments and hurt their feelings. Censorship in literature must also be restricted because it prevents authors from writing about things they want. Moreover, while some words seem violent and swear for one people, they are absolutely adequate for others. Pornography also has a chance to exist on the Internet because there are those who use it, and children should be limited in access to these data.

Works Cited

Conroy, Pat. “A Letter to the Editor of the Charleston Gazette.” Pat Conroy, 27 Oct. 2007, Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.

Kristol, Irving. “Pornography, Obscenity and the Case for Censorship.” The New York Times, 28 Mar. 1971, Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.

Perez-Pena, Richard. “Stutterer Speaks up in Class; His Professor Says Keep Quiet.” The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2011, Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.

Rosenblatt, Roger. “We are Free to be You, Me, Stupid, and Dead.” WorldCat, 2002, Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.

“Should Offensive Language Be Censored?” Rohlingonthefloor, 31 Oct. 2013, Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.

Town, Caren. “Dangerous Words: Censorship in the Public Schools.” Georgia Southern University, 2010, Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.

11 February, 2022