Oh, Sh*#! The F-Word (and others) at Work

expletiveIs there a “no-cussing” policy in your workplace?  How many times a day can you expect to hear the F-bomb?  How about less extreme curse words?  Apparently, the frequency with which we toss around swear words is on the rise.  An article at MSNBC claims that the increase in swearing is tied to a tanking economy.  Please.  I don’t buy that for a minute.

The reality is that the boundaries of socially accepted behavior is changing, has changed, and will continue to change.  Anyone who watched the Bravo show, Mad Men understands this concept.  But why is it that we do steer towards cussing?  Why don’t we buck another trend?

Psychologists say that a little swearing can be good for you.  Two-thirds of cursing is tied to anger and frustration, according to Timothy Jay, professor and author of the recently released survey, Utility and Ubiquity of Taboo Words.  During difficult times, that percent can increase, as different people react differently to the stress of everyday life.  According to Jay’s paper:

A set of 10 words that has remained stable over the past 20 years accounts for 80% of public swearing. Swearing is positively correlated with extraversion and Type A hostility but negatively correlated with agreeableness, conscientiousness, religiosity, and sexual anxiety.

And you thought your swearing didn’t have anything to do with your personality, right?  And employers, now more than ever, may want to give that “no-cussing” policy a second look!

Oh, and if you want some proof of the increasing presence of the F-word at work, see our prior post on the Anchorwoman busted on camera using a whole lot of ’em!

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