What the F*** is wrong with cursing?
1 א

How do we think about "bad" or "vulgar" speech?

2 ב

Iancu v. Brunetti, June 24, 2019.

Respondent Erik Brunetti is an artist and entrepreneur who founded a clothing line that uses the trademark FUCT. According to Brunetti, the mark (which functions as the clothing’s brand name) is pronounced as four letters, one after the other: F-U-C-T. But you might read it differently and, if so, you would hardly be alone. That common perception caused difficulties for Brunetti when he tried to register his mark with the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

3 ג

בעון נבלות פה צרות רבות וגזירות קשות מתחדשות ובחורי שונאי ישראל מתים יתומים ואלמנות צועקין ואינן נענין שנאמר על כן על בחוריו לא ישמח ה׳ ואת יתומיו [ואת] (ו)אלמנותיו לא ירחם כי כלו חנף ומרע וכל פה דובר נבלה בכל זאת לא שב אפו ועוד ידו נטויה

Due to the sin of vulgar speech, troubles abound, and harsh decrees are renewed, and the youth among the enemies of Israel, a euphemistic reference to Israel, die, and orphans and widows cry out for help and are not answered, as it is stated: “Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall He have compassion on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is ungodly and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks wantonness. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 9:16).

4 ד

(יד) שׁוּחָ֣ה עֲ֭מֻקָּה פִּ֣י זָר֑וֹת זְע֥וּם יְ֝הוָ֗ה יפול־[יִפָּל־] שָֽׁם׃

(14) The mouth of a forbidden woman is a deep pit; He who is doomed by the Lord falls into it.

5 ה

Where does this concern for speech come from?

6 ו

(ד) לנפש חיה. אַף בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה נִקְרְאוּ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אַךְ זוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם חַיָּה שֶׁבְּכֻלָּן, שֶׁנִתּוֹסֵף בּוֹ דֵּעָה וְדִבּוּר:

(4) לנפש חיה A LIVING SOUL — Also cattle and beasts are called נפש חיה (1:20, 22, 24), but the נפש of man is the most highly developed of all of them, because to him was granted understanding and speech.

7 ז

Speech as clear self-expression

8 ח

(כ) מִפְּרִ֣י פִי־אִ֭ישׁ תִּשְׂבַּ֣ע בִּטְנ֑וֹ תְּבוּאַ֖ת שְׂפָתָ֣יו יִשְׂבָּֽע׃ (כא) מָ֣וֶת וְ֭חַיִּים בְּיַד־לָשׁ֑וֹן וְ֝אֹהֲבֶ֗יהָ יֹאכַ֥ל פִּרְיָֽהּ׃ (כב) מָצָ֣א אִ֭שָּׁה מָ֣צָא ט֑וֹב וַיָּ֥פֶק רָ֝צ֗וֹן מֵיְהוָֽה׃ (כג) תַּחֲנוּנִ֥ים יְדַבֶּר־רָ֑שׁ וְ֝עָשִׁ֗יר יַעֲנֶ֥ה עַזּֽוֹת׃ (כד) אִ֣ישׁ רֵ֭עִים לְהִתְרֹעֵ֑עַ וְיֵ֥שׁ אֹ֝הֵ֗ב דָּבֵ֥ק מֵאָֽח׃

(20) A man’s belly is filled by the fruit of his mouth; He will be filled by the produce of his lips. (21) Death and life are in the power of the tongue; Those who love it will eat its fruit. (22) He who finds a wife has found happiness And has won the favor of the LORD. (23) The poor man speaks beseechingly; The rich man’s answer is harsh. (24) There are companions to keep one company, And there is a friend more devoted than a brother.

9 ט

ובאורייתא מי לא כתיב טמא אלא כל היכא דכי הדדי נינהו משתעי בלשון נקיה כל היכא דנפישין מילי משתעי בלשון קצרה כדאמר רב הונא אמר רב ואמרי לה אמר רב הונא אמר רב משום רבי מאיר לעולם ישנה אדם לתלמידו דרך קצרה

The Gemara asks: But isn’t the word impure written in the Torah? Apparently, the Torah does not consistently employ euphemisms, and indeed the word impure appears regularly. Rather, anywhere that two phrases are equal in length, the verse speaks employing a euphemism. Anywhere that the words of the euphemism are more numerous, requiring a lengthier description, the Torah speaks employing concise language, in accordance with that which Rav Huna said that Rav said, and some say it was Rav Huna who said that Rav said in the name of Rabbi Meir: A person should always teach his student in a concise manner.