I may be shaking a few trees today. Or stirring a few pots. Or even whacking a few beehives with a big, fat stick. But guess what? I'm not afraid. Like the Wright Brothers, I'm letting it fly.


I can't help it..., I have held it in long enough. As a matter of fact, it is ready to bust out of me like Pillsbury Biscuit dough when it pops out of the can. While it is true that I am a firm believer that words only have the power you give them, and while I might not be the first one to say or even scream a swear word or two (when I know my audience and they know me), I find it completely abhorrent to let your favorite one-syllable shocker loose in writing whenever your little ol' heart desires.

I am supposing that it is alright for me to be of this opinion and share it loud and clear since there are those that think I am alright with the vulgarities that fly through certain posts. This "style" of writing isn't authentic. It certainly isn't respectful. It really doesn't take much thought or creativity to riddle a post with some poorly chosen words. And it degrades most professionals that work within this so-called profession that that we love. It just really isn't very fetching. I know I'm not Cinderella at the ball, but I really don't want to kill the music at the dance before the Prince is smitten.

Perhaps you think it's cool to write this way or even way cool to read. But does your client or your boss? What about that potential client or potential boss? I know, I know: it's real, it's genuine. Maybe, but would your mother want to read it? I suppose there are some moms that would be ok with it. And how cool is that.., because words only have the power that you personally give them - and yes, I know I already gave that argument. That's kind of the point. There really is no valid argument for the use of foul language in a post or online discussion.

Really, what are you? In eighth grade? Use your words, big words, for pity's sake (and I do mean pity.) Would you tell a client to pay their f-in invoice? Would you litter a proposal or contract agreement with four-letter gems, allowing a potential client to see the "real you," the bona fide you? Because that is business in the new millennium. For I do what I want, gosh darn it.

Again, I am not perfect and given the right circumstance, I will say almost any swear word. Didja hear me? I'm not claiming to be anything other than someone who cares about my audience. All of my audience. Especially given the fact that we are professionals and address other pros within the HR industry. Would you use that type of language during an interview with a major candidate or during a new employee orientation? How about during a professional reference interview?

Maybe you do and maybe you are really good at it. If you do and you are, please disregard this post; it wasn't meant for you anyway.




by rayannethorn

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Good one Rayanne.

So it's not just me then? Great! I've been watching as foul language just keeps creeping in to the day-to-day business world.

There is a time and place for (nearly) everything.

Vulgarity has no place outside the dorm room, pool hall or backyard shindig. While one might say it's authentic - I say it shows a complete lack of tact, etiquette and professionalism.

P.S. I have been known to cuss. Frequently at times. Just not when anyone (important) is listening!
Great point Rayanne.

In my personal experience, people who use swear words in a business context usually either know that they have a weak case, or weak point to make, and hope that a swear word will have the effect of giving their case more force or weight...or they are relatively ineffectual leaders/negotiators who mistake force and shock for influence.
Agreed Rayanne. I swear. I admit it. But not in writing. And certainly not online. I wrote a post on a related topic here about how people destroy their personal brands with this type of behavior http://gregsavage.com.au/?p=504
I would love to have the chance to meet you someday Rayanne. Your posts always make me say "me too, me too! That's what I think!". You are spot on once again.
I love your posts, Rayanne. They are so eloquent, effective, and a joy to read. Good one! And Jerry is right - there is a time and a place for everything.
Have to admit that I liked Maren's comment.

Quote:
> Thanks Rayanne for busting out about this. You're right.
> "I try not to cuss online, although.... We say "crap" and
> "blows" and "fart" and "butt" and "sucks" in our house"

Rayanne wrote:
> The type of posting I am referencing is becoming more and more prevalent.

A few examples? Wouldn't have hurt.
I only know the punk rocker likes to swear now and then
but who else?
Maren said:
> Well those are not cuss words to me but they are to say...my sister in law.

Well, I'm willing to defer to @Jerry_albright and @Ray_anne
They can be the Prefects of the Recruitosphere
Full disclosure: I used the phrase "half-a$$ed" in a blog post. I thought it added shock value. I hope my mom didn't read it. I carry that mark with me to this day......

But the bad stuff? (The 7 words George Carlin spoke of....?) No way.

Recruiting Animal said:
Maren said:
> Well those are not cuss words to me but they are to say...my sister in law.

Well, I'm willing to defer to @Jerry_albright and @Ray_anne
They can be the Prefects of the Recruitosphere
Sumbitch is fine. It's a little salty - but nothing to cause anyone to blush. I also like "sonsabitches" on occassion. But the "F" in any form or fashion has no place.

I think we all know how to play to our audience. I can blend in on either side of the aisle. The issue as I see it - is you have no idea who your audience is. Not knowing what eyes may land on your post should give anyone pause before hitting the OK button.

Fun topic. A fine piece Rayanne.


Sandra McCartt said:
So how would you all feel about "sumbitch". This gets funny when it starts. Defining what is and what is not vulgar or offensive. Would Dan's post "S*$t Happens be considered offensive. I never use the F word in front of a man of the cloth or anyone's mother unless they say it first, but does that include Freaken, or effen or fricken?

While i understand Rayanne's complaint here and most of us generally adhere to reasonable online writing are we talking about Scott's occassional "suck it". Just askin?
You Texans have your own special way of cussing which sounds funny instead of vulgar. Then again you also have a way of saying innocent words and making them sound like cussing. My Texas girlfriend can make darm sound vulgar if she wants it too! If you write it the way you pronounce it than it probably won't offend anyone :-)

Sandra McCartt said:
So how would you all feel about "sumbitch". This gets funny when it starts. Defining what is and what is not vulgar or offensive. Would Dan's post "S*$t Happens be considered offensive. I never use the F word in front of a man of the cloth or anyone's mother unless they say it first, but does that include Freaken, or effen or fricken?

While i understand Rayanne's complaint here and most of us generally adhere to reasonable online writing are we talking about Scott's occassional "suck it". Just askin?
To the grammarians - Sorry for the typo on too.

Fran Holm said:
You Texans have your own special way of cussing which sounds funny instead of vulgar. Then again you also have a way of saying innocent words and making them sound like cussing. My Texas girlfriend can make darm sound vulgar if she wants it too! If you write it the way you pronounce it than it probably won't offend anyone :-)

Sandra McCartt said:
So how would you all feel about "sumbitch". This gets funny when it starts. Defining what is and what is not vulgar or offensive. Would Dan's post "S*$t Happens be considered offensive. I never use the F word in front of a man of the cloth or anyone's mother unless they say it first, but does that include Freaken, or effen or fricken?

While i understand Rayanne's complaint here and most of us generally adhere to reasonable online writing are we talking about Scott's occassional "suck it". Just askin?
Unless you are authentically British, or Australian, or from New Zealand with the accent, then swearing with those accents backing it up is just fine in my book. It sounds so proper! But for some reason we Americans just can't pull that off with the same finesse. Heck, they aren't even trying for finesse, but it sure is intepreted that way. The Brits, Aussies, and New Zelanders can get away with murder when they swear because it sounds so good! Why is that? The tweed makes it less offensive?

Personally I don't think a reference to a swear word or a cultural/regional slang lessens the blow, or is better than using anything other than the F word. There can be no gray zone with this topic then and some of you want the haves and have nots. Nah! It's one way or the other. There can be no degree of acceptance on a topic like this based on the original blog content. I don't think the F word is any more offensive then the D word, or the S word, or any of the others. But we can't have our cake and eat it too.

I'm from the old time retail department store world of 2+ decades ago and everyone swore. The VP's swore, the Directors swore, the buyers swore, the quiet accountants swore, the vendors swore, the designers swore, the elevator operators swore, the switch board operator swore, hell EVERYONE swore! I miss those days. It was just fine back then. We have all become whimps and babies. So when I swear I do it with a British accent, but it's a challenging when swearing on a blog.......are there symbols one can use to denote it's British! Ideas anyone?

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