Why saying cuss words are the equivalent of a unwholesome talk is a misappropriation of scripture.
If I say “dang” here in the States and no one is offended, but in another country it could offend someone or be improper, then we cannot say that objectively there are such identified words that can and cannot be said if it changes situationally. The Bible says do not use the Lord’s name in vain, so that seems clear, but such silly words that we as a culture have deemed cuss words because of personal preferences cannot be necessarily equated to unwholesome talk.
The Apostle Paul uses the coarse Greek word “skubala” in Philippians 3:8 in the New Testament. If you check multiple English translations of the word it will often be censored to dung, rubbish, refuse, and a loss are various inaccurate translations of the Greek word. The word means “excrement” either animal or human and in comparative Greek literature that word was the equivalent of today’s cuss word, “shit.” Paul also said to imitate him like you would Christ…
It is the motivation and the intention of the words that we use. I can say “dang you” or “fuck you” or “I’m really so dang sorry that happened to you” or “I’m really fucking sorry that happened to you.” You can either use words in love to build up or you can use words in hate to tear down. To clarify, I would suggest that there are cuss words and then there curse words, and it isn’t necessarily always the words you use but how they are used.
I would personally make the comparison that using cuss words is the equivalent of the example of pagan meat to the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9. If you can consume and enjoy it and not have your conscience seared, then enjoy… but if you cannot then abstain. Eat and enjoy, but first love.
Update 2020: I have been wrong on a great many things - and I certainly could be wrong on this. This is my current thought process and conviction of my conscience but I pray the Holy Spirit convicts me if I am wrong. No matter what - it is a calling to LOVE first.