Something I posted recently on Facebook regarding profanity caused a huge firestorm of controversy. The post had a little photo that said “If you can’t be interesting without profanity, then let’s face it, you’re not that interesting.” It left me wondering about how people are using profanity these days in regards to business. Is profanity the ‘new’ business language?

It was after I read an article on Michael Hyatt’s Blog about profanity. The post asked the question – ‘What is your reaction when a speaker, blogger or broadcaster uses profanity in a message?’  Basically, his point was, if you’re on the stage or on social media and you’re using swear words, what message are you sending and is your audience receiving that message well. If they are receiving your intended message well, great!  If that’s your type of audience, that’s totally fine but what is the cost to that?  You also need to know whether or not you are alienating some people using that type of language.

I was in an event a couple of months ago with about 150 people.  One person stood up and dropped an “F” bomb and from there it was open season. People were swearing like crazy the whole day. There seems to be a big trend going on right now with profanity. I’ve even heard people say that it makes the person sound more authentic. Maybe I’m just being a little old fashioned, but I personally feel it’s a bit disrespectful.

Are you alienating people by using such language are you just making a point, being colorful, or spicing things up? There are so many beautiful ways to speak and write. As one person put it in my Facebook post, there’s so many beautiful words in our language that are descriptive and interesting, why do we need to punctuate using swear words?

In private, with my friends, I use those swear words but we know each other very well and we can get away with that.  But in a public situation, especially if I was speaking to a group of business owners from the stage, in my social media posts, in any of my courses or blog posts, I personally choose not to use that type of language because I don’t feel that it’s necessary.

One person disagreed with me and said it’s ‘just a word.’ I disagree because I don’t believe a word is just a word. I believe that words can hurt other people and they can destroy lives.

Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but honestly that’s what happens when, with all the cyberbullying, etc. in this day and age, the public shaming of people has become common place. I don’t think we need to be all the hearts and flowers but I feel that we need to respect people and deliver value in our language rather than curse words.

Spicing things up doesn’t need to mean adding profanity and I really think that if you truly have something authentic to say, people will listen.

So what do you think, do you think that swearing has a place in business situations? If you need help to find out more about what, when and how to post on Social Media, Contact me.

Debbie Peck Digital