Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What Can I Say?

Coming out of a meeting today, I overheard someone complaining about the use of profanity by one person in attendance. I have come to accept this person's style, knowing that if he feels passionately about anything, the description will be laced with 4-letter words.

I view his invectives as a way to liven up a dull meeting. The same guy has a collection of PEZ dispensers, which he often passes around at meetings. He never swears at anyone's expense but he definitely swears a lot.

The complainer was saying things like, "In my house, we just don't tolerate that sort of language. It's so unnecessary." I was thinking to myself, "It's a good thing she has never visited MY house where we do tolerate just about anything in its uncensored form."

For many years I have realized that there are several words that simply make me feel good to say. I suppose they make me feel powerful and just a little bit bad. But there is definitely a therapeutic effect of a good F___ or S___. It's as though they trigger some magical endorphin.

As we walked down the hall, I didn't openly defend the offender, but I did file away a caution against my freest speech whenever this person was around. I suppose she is right that a formal meeting is hardly the place for pool-room venting, but I still have mixed feelings about it.

Any opinions?


Blogger Cee said...

I'm guilty of swearing an awful lot while at work. Not really during meetings, as such, but definitely to the team I work with. "I can't believe these f***ing people, looking at what they've f***ing done" etc. I like to think it's not offensive because I'm not swearing at people (and everyone else swears so much here I'm sure they won't be offended by me.)

Having said that, when I was at my boat course the other day, one of the students swore all the time, but just using f*** as a random adjective in every sentence, which irritates me a little. "Well, I think you'd steer over the the f***ing right of the river." There was no need for it, and by the end of the day I wanted to strangle him. I guess it all depends on context.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I don't know where I fit with the appropriateness of flip flops in the workplace, with swearing, with getting worked up. I'm one of the more... intense people on my project. I don't swear at work but people still get uncomfortable around me. I demand a lot. What's a girl to do?

12:21 AM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

They are only words, substitutions don't really work because they translate to the orginal word intended. Fudge, fiddle, Sugar, shoot, darn, gol darn-we know what the person is really saying. I cuss-I respect those who are offended. There are certain venues one should not cuss in, no matter how free thinking they are, out of respect.

9:45 AM  

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