November 2010

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21 June 2010


Tammy Carroll

I think swearing in front of a group is disrepectful for the reasons you stated. There is no way to judge the entire group's sensitivity levels at a given point in time on a given topic so it's best to avoid all swearing in meetings.
However, I feel that if you are one-on-one with a co-worker or team member and the two of you have established a rapport where you know that person's acceptance level of cursing, then it's okay to use whatever language you choose to get your points across in a discussion, even about a work subject.

Jonny B

I was brought up to "play the game" which implies split norms for every situation. When it was just Dad & I, throwing papers on a Saturday morning, anything went. But there was an understanding that Mom was not to hear of this. I remember a very specific situation where I didn't adhere to this norm and said the contraction of "MF" within earshot of both of them. Oh the wrath of my father!
Healthy or not it taught me to be infinitely aware of the situation, the audience and making the message appropriate.
I would question, in the example you site, Dr. Z, of the 'leader', whether or not it was just an indication of their integrity and not necessarily a sample of split norms. That person was probably just showing their true colors.
When all else fails, cultivate the practice of "Grandma testing". You know what I mean; if your best friends grandma, or your grandma's grandma heard you saying it, would you get a bar of soap in your mouth?
Good post. Thanks for the insight.

David McGinnis

I wear jeans when I go to a mill; I wear dress pants when I'm in the Atlanta office. these are split norms. I think this makes sense.

However, Because of MY (David's) system of values: I aim to not swear ever. I can't say that I'm always successful at that goal, but it is my goal. My sense of right and wrong would mean that not swearing in public OR in private would be the most genuine me I could be.

Because I place foul language in the virtue category, a split standard would be a split virtue. I can't recommend split virtue.

It'd probably be good to not regret what you say, and I think you're pretty safe to not offend people if you don't swear.

So I can't tell you what 's right for you, but I sure know where I stand on the issue for me.

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