No Cussing Club
|We control what|
you think with
|Said and done|
|Jargon, buzzwords, slogans|
The No Cussing Club is an American organisation that is against the use of profanity (cussing) — although there is also an anti-bullying message on the website. It was created by junior-high school student McKay Hatch in 2007 when he was 14. In 2010, it had over 35,000 members worldwide. The website sports the hip, cool banner, "Ya Wanna Hang with Us? Don't Cuss!" in what is presumably an attempt of gaining the cool person's vote.
The No Cussing Club was first launched by McKay Hatch in 2007 at his junior high-school in South Pasadena, California. McKay says he started it in response to his friends' extensive use of foul language;
“”They didn't even realize how much they were doing it until I said something. I was actually surprised at how they reacted; they accepted my No Cussing Challenge. But some of the kids said they didn't know how to stop. That's when I started the No Cussing Club.
McKay goes on to explain how his club membership initially consisted of him and his friends supporting each other, reminding one another not to "cuss" (like an AA support group) but later grew to 50 members. Once in high school, McKay started the No Cussing Club and gained over 100 members, with the clean words of the No Cussing Club quickly spreading across the world via the internet.
His sister Saige (read 'self-promoting Mormon motivational-speaker parents') has since begun a 'modesty club' at her high school.
Appearances and promotion
McKay Hatch has appeared in media representing the NCC once on Leno as well as appearing on Good Morning America, The Early Show, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN (typical of the petty matters that the American media tends to capitalize on). In the interviews he suggests replacing swear words with words such as "pickles," "flip," and "barnacles," which are likely to result in getting you beat up if you use them in high school, and will eventually result in those words being considered 'cuss' words, necessitating further revisions (see euphemism treadmill). This approach has been used in the Just a Call Away communication skills training series, in which it is suggested that customer service advisers substitute the word pumpkin for swear words. This has practical value in a call centre environment in which overheard swearing can cause problems, but the tone of the language is in itself likely to betray the intent. It's difficult to imagine "That pumpkin customer can stick his computer up his pumpkin pumpkin" being said in a calm and non-aggressive manner. The language is altered while the tone and intent remain.
The No Cussing Club has also produced a few music videos, which are objectively terrible.[citation NOT needed] The first one is (presumably) supposed to be a rap song which consists of McKay Hatch "rapping" at the camera, random people mouthing "don't cuss", challenging strange men hanging around at night in parks to the No Cussing Challenge, and sending a letter to his government to try to get them to clean up their language. The video ends with McKay's father asking a worker at a drive-through fast food restaurant through an intercom to say "don't cuss," and then ordering a cheeseburger.[note 2]
Apparently, after implementation at one school, cussing dropped by 64% and bullying by 90% (although the 90% bullying figure is only mentioned in various news stories, and not the actual study page itself). It's interesting to note that if the 90% drop in bullying was verifiable, the school would certainly be shouting such an achievement from the rooftops — yet it makes no mention of it on its website. We're not saying that the study is completely bogus, just that… you know… give us the actual data or something.
The No Cussing Club has sparked both positive and negative reaction
predominantly in America worldwide, with tens of thousands of emails being sent from both sides of the argument, including some death threats towards Hatch and his family. Many videos of people laughing at the No Cussing Club exist on YouTube, with one video[note 3] accurately depicting the negative public reaction to the No Cussing Club. On the 23rd of January 2009 internet group Anonymous hacked No Cussing Club's website for at least two days in a row. On day one, the group hacked into the website, replacing the content with links to images of alleged e-mail conversations. The e-mails appear to be from the founder's e-mail account, accusing organization members of forgery and using the site for their own personal financial gains. The latter is a bit curious, when one reads the section on the No Cussing Club site dealing with starting new chapters. The second step (after becoming a member) is "Step 2 – Get a Sponsor" to "pay for your club’s activities" which, it turns out, actually means shelling out money for "club T-Shirts" (how hip!). This is somewhat reminiscent of pyramid schemes multilevel marketing. Basically, it's a way to sell crappy T-shirts (see "Step 4 – Have your First NCC Meeting" in which an important point is: "Reminding members to wear their shirts on Fridays").[note 4]
Arguments for and against the No Cussing Club
- Cussing less is pleasant for people who don't like cussing.
- It's not cool, not that fun, and it's just a cheap way to sound "grown-up".
- It is completely voluntary; if people choose not to swear it has literally zero effect on anyone else. It's an issue if people want to impose their beliefs on swearing on others, but if they simply request to not swear, it's better to respect this.
- If it's overdone (i.e. use it every other word), not only you sound like an idiot, it can get very tiresome to hear and can detract from whatever point you're making simply due to the repetitive, tedious use of words.
- Context matters, but when it doubt, it's best not to swear. You can get the police called on you if you shout in swears in family restaurants and it's really not worth ruining people's experiences because you think swear words are fine and others don't.
- Cussing, when yielded through poor anger management, can needlessly escalate conflict or seriously hurt people, especially when it's directed at someone. A lot of "against" arguments in the next section overlook context sensitivity. Cuss words can undermine the intent of I-messages; "I am fucking upset" conveys a lot more anger than "I am extremely upset" due to the intensifier the vulgarity carries.
- Profanity is effective exactly because it is offensive to others. By making profanity more of a social taboo, the No Cussing Club actually makes profanity more effective when it is used.
- If you're in a foreign country and you like learning and yelling off swear words in that language, you just look like an idiot.
- Cuss words are easily substituted with the surnames of former U.S. Presidents. MotherTafting cuss words!
- Cussing is fun and is in fact cool.
- It is only subjectively bad. The only reason that cussing is 'bad' is from society's arbitrary rules. Other cultures and time periods have different views on the 'politeness' of certain words.
- Biblical arguments against cussing are worthless, since even the Big Guy himself chooses to use rather vulgar language from time to time. To learn more about how to cuss like God (literally), check out Ezekiel 23:20 (There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of horses, means , you cum like an ass you asshole), Deuteronomy 23:2, 1 Samuel 20:30, The last example might not be bad language in English, but in Hebrew the phrase ben 'avah marduwth is considered highly offensive, a fitting equivalent for the English phrase son of a bitch.  Jesus himself resorts to swearing in Luke 13:31-32, and like before, calling someone a fox may not be offensive in English, but in Hebrew culture it is highly offensive to call someone a dog, and foxes are in the dog family.
- Even if cussing is curtailed, the intent is still there and will be expressed somehow. Ergo, no real change is made by making everyone refrain from cussing.
- They're ultimately just words, and arbitrarily picked as vulgar anyhow. Why is 'shit' a bad word, but 'crap' and 'poop' are (usually) acceptable? After all they mean the same thing, so it's not like the content of what is said is altered in any way (though calling someone "a piece of shit" compared to "a piece of doodoo" are two different things).
- Coprolalia (most famous as an occasional symptom of Tourette syndrome) is a legitimate neurological disorder that causes involuntary profane outbursts. What can a person with coprolalia do in an environment where cussing is forbidden?
- "Cussing" is an American English
pussypolite word that no one else in the world uses or even knows.
- Cussing provides an easy emotional outlet (though can easily be abused when one is angry), though its effect diminishes the more you use it, so be sparing. Richard Stephens won the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize for Peace for his research that showed that cursing relieves pain.
- Curse words can more accurately portray emotions, particularly sadness (to be fair, it's also a means of expressing anger without meaning it, which can emotionally harm targets):
- Saying 'Go pickle yourself' somehow doesn't have quite the same impact as 'Go fuck yourself'.
- Telling someone you want to "pumpkin their pumpkin while pumpkin their pumpkin as they pumpkin your pumpkin with a pumpkin using the pumpkin pumpkin" doesn't exactly make for good bed talk.
- An overly sensitive mindset towards cursing often leads to the bowdlerization of language. (It can also make people who adhere to such trivialities seem backwards.) Examples:
- The word "harass" is properly pronounced "ha RASS." However, many people pronounce it "HAIR us" because they are uncomfortable saying (or hearing) a word that they think sounds like "her ass."
- Bowdlerization is itself a product of bowdlerization; the original term for it was castration.
- The title song from the Broadway musical Anything Goes includes this line: "Authors, too, who once knew better words/Now only use four-letter words/Writing prose." When MGM made the movie version of the play in the 1950s, the censorship board in Hollywood instructed the screenwriters to change the term "four-letter words" to "three-letter words" because the original lyric merely implied the existence of curse words.
- There are plenty of words far nastier than any currently used cusswords, including 'smegma', 'fistula', 'ileostomy', and Santorum, to name a few.
- If you cuss on a fairly rare basis, people know you really mean it. If nearly every other fucking word you fucking say is fucking obscene, it is fucking difficult as fucking shit to show when you're truly motherfucking upset. And you fucking end up sounding like some kind of goddamned punk-ass asshole shithead, too. Furthermore, it gets very tiresome to read if it's overdone, and the swear word vastly loses its power, defeating their purpose. It's better to just use them sparingly as with any strong words, though context also matters. Alternatively, in the military, officers normally cuss, and people know they're pissed when they stop cussing.[note 5]
- Science shows that when people who cuss less than others actually cuss, they relieve more stress. But correlation does not imply causation.
- We have to admit that the NCC is a remarkably multicultural venture if the border of national flags is meant to reflect national chapters.
assbottom row shows the flags of (from left to right): South Korea, Scotland, Saudi Arabia (Allah knows what they do to cussers!), Spain, Russia, the Philippines, Norway, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, and Nigeria.
The top row is a bit harder to decode due to its borders and the text, but presumably enumerates (left to right): Argentina, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Canada, China (as in the People's Republic of), France, Germany, India, and Poland.
On the left we of course have the United States and United Kingdom (odd, considering the separate inclusion of Scotland, but not Wales), while on the right is Italy and Israel.
- Yes, really.
- Video removed due to infringement, but consisted of a short clip of the "Don't Cuss" song lyric, "if you wanna hang with us, I don't wanna hear you cuss!" before changing to the Tourette's Guy shouting "fuck you!" at the camera.
- One really has to wonder about the supposed Saudi chapter here: Are they going to wear their trendy t-shirts to the Friday prayer? Or perhaps they wear the t-shirts in secret, kind of like magic underwear?
- Robert Graves reports an anecdote from his military training; when the sergeant said "Get your fucking rifles" the soldiers knew that the business at hand was routine military bullshit. When the sergeant said "get your rifles", serious shit was about to go down.
- No Cussing Club homepage Caution: website contains no fucking swearing.
- On the homepage, nonetheless
- No Cussing Club — How it all Started
- Just a Call Away
- "Don't Cuss" - the No Cussing Club
- At least one version of this story claimed that the 64% decrease was in profanity and violence
- E.g. Teenager's focus is to clean up language and stop bullying, Deseret News, April 8 2011 or Can a Pledge to Cut the Cursing on Valentine's Day Squash Bullying?, The Magazine, February 16, 2011. Hurrah for sloppy research and churnalism!
- No Cussing Club - Study
- Wanna Start An NCC Chapter In Your Area? Note the fresh teenage language again — be there or be a rectangular thing!
- Winners of the Ig® Nobel Prize
- Swearing as a response to pain by Richard Stephens NeuroReport (5 August 2009) Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 1056-1060. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32832e64b1.
- Including in fiction
- The Telegraph reports