I come from a conservative Indian society. And, I have this essay that I have to submit. But, I was wondering if it’d be okay to use the word “damn” in my essay. My English teacher is pretty cool, so I think she wouldn’t mind it. But, I didn’t want to sound rude or “uncultured” as they say it. So, is it okay to use it?
All college admissions officers have heard the word before. I would certainly leave God out of it, though. There is a slight risk that an admissions officer out there will see you as uncouth or of limited vocabulary, but you had to know that there is a smidge of risk in using the word or you wouldn’t have asked.
I would think you run the risk of an AO wondering why your vocabulary is limited. If you are using it in some sort of dialogue then perhaps but I do not think it adds much otherwise. It is not going to give you some sort of advantage.
Both words seem crude and uncultured.
Instead of “damn”, consider using: condemn, doom, sentence, denounce, censure, denunciate, curse
Instead of “goddamn”, consider using: “Please reject me.”
There is really no reason you have to use those words and they may offend someone. I’d find another word.
As strange as it may sound, when in doubt picture an old conservative white guy or the complete polar opposite of you, reading your essay. Personally, I would not feel entirely comfortable writing or reading either word in an essay. Without reading yours, I would think there are better choices that do not risk entering into risky territory.
Good writing depends entirely on the context. Not social norms. I have no problem reading those two words. They do appear in modern conversation.
But whether OP knows how and when to use them effectively, in a college app, that’s the question.
The risk isn’t offending some “old conservative white” dude. The risk is appearing to a) overreact (or mis-react) and b) miss the point of what the app and supp writing, as ever, are meant to convey.
Whenever you can restructure, consider it. Not out of fear and speculation, but for clear writing that achieves its purpose. Know what that purpose is.
I would have to see the essay.