Choose words carefully

Swearing is unacceptable in certain scenarios

By Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor

Mohr said that swearing has been around since Roman times, yet through the ages it has evolved and expanded into more elaborate words. Words such as farts and asses in Anglo Saxon times were seen as extremely impolite, but today, they are common in the English language.

Over the course of an average day, about seven percent of the words used by people are swear words. People roughly use the same number of first person plural pronouns such as we as they do swear words, according to the Oxford University Press language expert Melissa Mohr in an article from Time magazine on April 10, 2013.

Using curse words is a choice, which can cause possible issues in certain situations and should be refrained from. Environments in which cursing could cause issues include professional settings such as in the office and during interviews and in some casual settings such as around children.

In the office, swearing is simply not acceptable. When professional attire is required, cursing is frowned upon because it is seen as unprofessional. Behind closed doors in frustration, it may be accepted every once in awhile, but in the day-to-day activities, it should be avoided because others may overhear, get offended, and cause workplace trouble.

Language is important in a professional environment as it reflects on how a person is perceived. Inappropriate language could be grounds for dismissal or sometimes even the loss of one’s business by clients deciding to go elsewhere for business. Ultimately, swearing could lead to devastating results such as which in a loss of money, client loss and termination. It is better to leave the swearing at home around friends or family who use the same language.

Additionally, swearing around children is intolerable. Children commonly learn four letter words before the full alphabet, according to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts psychology professor Timothy Jay in his article, “The Science of Swearing” on pschologicalscience.org. Jay’s research shows that children by the age of 2 know at least one curse word and between the ages of 3 and 4 begin to repeat curse words on a normal basis. Swearing around children negatively influences the child’s life because they do not always understand what words mean and may repeat it in inappropriate circumstances. According to Jay, children who begin cursing at a young age will also grow up believing cursing is just a part of every day language. This can be prevented by explaining the impact swear words have, as well as not cursing around children at all.

cursewordsFurthermore, swearing should never be used during an interview. Swearing is seen as disrespectful. An interviewee needs to remain professional at all times, even if the interviewer lets a profane word slip. Cursing throughout an interview sets the standard that an interviewee has a lack of judgment and may speak inappropriately with clients in the future. This view of swearing during an interview has been agreed upon by recruiters and interviewers in an article published by The Guardian in May of 2012. Cursing can create consequences such as not receiving the job or a second interview, it is also expected that an interviewee apologize immediately if this language does occur. Cursing can be okay in situations with friends or in private, but it is unacceptable in the workplace and around children. Swearing in the wrong situation can offend others, be looked down upon, and could close important doors such as job opportunities, networking connections and others that can benefit oneself in the future. Ultimately, it is imperative to always consider what is said and think before you speak.

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