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Susan Wilson Solovic Headshot

There's a Time and a Place for Everything

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If you've seen The Wolf of Wall Street, you probably wouldn't be surprised to know it holds the record for the number of "F" bombs during a movie -- 506. Just last night, I was watching the House of Cards on Netflix and it seemed every other word was F....

So has profanity become acceptable in our society? I don't think so and neither do my followers. When I posted a question on Facebook about the appropriateness of profanity in the workplace, overwhelmingly the responses were not favorable. People use profanity to shock you, bully or intimidate you or when they are completing emotionally out of control. (I admit, I'm guilty now and then.) However, consistently using profanity in the workplace can damage your career and impact your bottom line.

There are thousands of words in the dictionary from which to choose so why resort to profanity? Results of a CareerBuilder.com survey found 54 percent of employers think employees who swear frequently are less intelligent. Think what your clients and customers may think.

Legal issues are a concern too. Using profanity in the workplace, particularly words directed at body parts, sex or gender, may land you in court. Such language could create a hostile and oppressive work environment resulting in a sexual harassment suit.

Finally, even if you think profanity is acceptable in your business or industry, why take the risk? A customer or client may not be comfortable with the language and decide to take their business elsewhere.

As my mother used to say, "There's a time and a place for everything." Work is not the place for profanity.