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March 01, 2006


Ben Casnocha

I respect your POV. But I have a number of questions on this whole topic (rhetorical, not necessarily for you to answer!). Who defined what "swear" words are? Why can I say "screw" but not "fuck"? When someone is a routine swearer, how do they use it? Swear words can be very effective to inflect emotion or make a point. I know many people in business who use fuck/screw/shit etc. strategically and effectively. Here I think it's a good thing. WHen people use words b/c they're lazy, b/c they can't think of a better word, b/c they want to seem chic or laid back, then I think it's not good. But I don't think it's an absolute.


Excellent point Ben. I tend to stick with the Carlin's 7.

I even agree that swear words may be effective to inject emotion I guess. And the emotion can be all over the board (not just anger).

And, of course, I listen and dsnce to hip hop music which is littered with swear words. Often, they seem to be divisive or a waste and therefore have little effect.

I will tell you I totally tripped the first time I heard my Dad drop the f bomb.

Zoli Erdos

Not that I like it, but I accept that "Swear words can be very effective to inflect emotion or make a point. I know many people in business who use fuck/screw/shit etc. strategically and effectively." But "swearing like a sailor" is totally different. I don't think it's my mission to change people, so I don't tell them, I just walk and tend to not have any business with the "sailor" type:-)


Thank you for your note, Zoli. Interstingly, I tell them at the end that they may in fact continue swearing even more frequently and I'm indifferent.

I know it probably comes across pretty judgmental, I honestly don't mean it to. And it's not even a question whether it is appropriate or not because based on my experience it's accepted.

Part of it for me is thoughts, actions and words all have energy associated with them. If possible, by gently pointing this out I remind myself that I have to keep all three as loving as possible.


Customers/Clients/Colleagues like Zoli are exactly the reason that I don't swear in professional setting, unless someone initiates it.

I'm not worried about people like Tim, because he'll call me on it and I'll adjust. But people like Zoli are the ones you have to watch for, the kind they talk about in all the sales books (and a particularly awful Zig Ziglar poem) who quietly take whatever offense you give and then walk away with their business with no explanation.


I've actually never even thought about it from that angle, Jay. Thanks for sharing that.

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