A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet, But Vulgarity Still Stinks

In today’s culture, bad language has become widely accepted. We hear it in movies, we hear it in songs, we hear it on television, we hear it at our workplaces, we hear it just about everywhere. It’s safe to say that you’d be hard pressed to go through a day without hearing some sort of profanity, or is it vulgarity, or maybe it’s obscenity. You may not be aware, but those three things are not one and the same. How do you tell the difference? There’s a simple trick: Who’s mad at you for saying what you said? Obscenity gets you in trouble with the law, profanity gets you in trouble with religious folks, but vulgarity just gets you in trouble with your mother. To break it down, obscenity generally covers sexual references or bodily functions — enough said. Today, profanity is an expression that's specifically offensive to members of a religious group as it relates to matters like blasphemy. Finally, vulgarity is generally coarse or crude language. As writer David Keuck put it, “Profanity is the common crutch of the conversational cripple.”