Christopher Hitchens once said that there are two things for which the British Empire's reign will always be remembered. The first is the proliferation of soccer [sic.] throughout the world. The other, he candidly explained, is the expression "F--k off."

Yes, the all-familiar suggestion seems to have spread throughout the world as rapidly as the beautiful game. Some of you, my dear readers, might be offended at my use of such a bad word, even if it's edited. Some of you might think that such language isn't proper for a Bowdoin gentleman to be using.

Perhaps you are right, and perhaps I should avoid the use of such coarse terms. I firmly believe, however, that it is not the business of the FCC, of a newspaper, or of a periodical to constantly censor words. If the author of an article wants to directly quote a "bad" word, if Cartman wishes to curse on "South Park," and if I want to write an article about these words, the language should be used. I believe there is no point in written media sources omitting "bad" words from quotations, or in bleeping out certain words of a cable show in order to protect the viewer.

By law, any broadcast or basic cable show cannot use such explicit words, lest the FCC come at you with a fury usually only reserved for those shows who scar young children by exposing them to the truly terrifying sight of a bare female breast. However, most newspapers and periodicals in the United States do not print "bad" language, choosing to censor it like in this column's headline, or to simply replace it with a [expletive] set of brackets with "expletive" in the middle.

As George Carlin famously said, "there are 400,000 words in the English language, and only seven that you can't say on television. They must be really bad!" Yet, we all know those seven, we know what they mean, and the constant need to censor those words in American newspapers and on television is nothing but an utterly senseless attempt to legislate an outdated and archaic sense of morality.

But ask yourself a question. Is there any person capable of understanding this article who does not know what the F-word means? When it is bleeped out on "South Park," do we not understand what Cartman is actually saying? Can we find any reason for this utterly useless and self-imposed element of false decorum? Any child capable of comprehending the meaning of cursing will surely have his or her curiosity peaked by that not-very-concealing beep.

George Orwell, in one of his "As I Please" columns for the British Tribune, predicted the demise of such censorship. He believed that it was the root cause of the proliferation of the "bad" words. He wrote: "If only our half-dozen 'bad' words could be got off the lavatory wall and on the printed page, they would soon lose their magical quality, and the habit of swearing, degrading to our thoughts and weakening to our language, might become less common."

From Orwell's moralist perspective, the best way to stop the habit of swearing would be to rid curse words of their "magical quality." Sadly, we have seen another 50 years of censorship since Orwell wrote, yet everyone still knows what those "bad" words mean, even when they're censored.

While some might assert that all "bad" words are useless and weaken the English language, I believe that certain uses of these words help clarify intent and meaning. I personally find the word "bulls--t" to capture something which no other word in English quite conveys, particularly when used as a verb. To bulls--t a paper is something very specific, and the word suits the term quite nicely. I vote for its welcome admission to formal academic discourse.

So, as for "bad" words, we must stop this idiotic censorship, whether it comes from the government, or from the media outlets that choose to not print that language.

Doing so is the only way to stop incentivizing the use of swear words in our daily speech. We all know what these words mean, and by insisting that certain words are "bad," we only encourage the use of euphemisms that don't actually prevent the reader from thinking about or understanding the nature of the "inappropriate" word. It's time that papers start printing obscenities in their quotations, even in their prose when appropriate, and I look forward to the day when this last bastion of needless censorship ceases to exist.

I leave you with an anecdote about Dr. Samuel Johnson, the author of the first English dictionary. A lady once congratulated Dr. Johnson for not including any dirty words in his dictionary. In response, Dr. Johnson merely noted how fascinated he was that the woman knew exactly where to look to find those forbidden words.

Sean McElroy is a member of the Class of 2012.