Profanity in the workplace

  • #126
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you still have made no case against SWEARS.
I have given you a study which shows that swearing in a discussion has no positive impact on your speech. That is a start to show it shouldn't be used in the one circumstance of a discussion.

Now, passive swearing, not so sure about. It comes down to sociology and psychology more than anything. Could be rather subjective, but then there are still laws that deal with it.

I could end up with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order if I stand in the street swearing. I'm curious if the US has a similar system regarding anti-social behaviour (not just swearing).
 
  • #127
If swearing helped your speech, why don't politicians use it?Why don't you walk into an interview launch into it? Why don't doctors drop it in their conversations with patients?

At this point in time, society doesn't look upon swearing as a good thing. To use it, can be seen to degrade your position. As previously, you can be arrested in the UK for swearing - so there is obviously enough concern around it warrant restrictions on it - even if they are only sociological. On this basis, any attempt to rationalise its use in the workplace is pointless.
You're not making the case that it "doesn't help" anymore Jared... it's waaaay too late for that. You've argued that ills are added by swearing; that's a view that some have, and you have, but it's just that; a view. I'm sorry, but while I often see eye to eye with you, this isn't one of those times. By the same token, I'm not getting into a rhetorical fight either, because for me, this issue isn't worth it.
 
  • #128
I have given you a study which shows that swearing in a discussion has no positive impact on your speech. That is a start to show it shouldn't be used in the one circumstance of a discussion.

Now, passive swearing, not so sure about. It comes down to sociology and psychology more than anything. Could be rather subjective, but then there are still laws that deal with it.

I could end up with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order if I stand in the street swearing. I'm curious if the US has a similar system regarding anti-social behaviour (not just swearing).
You are pitting one very limited statistical-survey-study against the persistence of something present in human communication for millenia, and all studies are not created equally. How can you possibly explain its persistence across all cultures and languages if there is no benefit? Just a thought.

NONE of that matters because... you're making a case why swearing in some circumstances doesn't HELP... that's not the same as making a case for the WORDS being bad as opposed to the sentiment you choose to convey.
 
  • #129
2,685
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How can you possibly explain its persistence across all cultures and languages if there is no benefit? Just a thought.
Why has something remained that has no benefit?

Hmm, could it be the same reason homeopathy (in its various forms) and other non-sense things seem to persist over time, even though they provide no benefit? Perhaps because there is a perceived benefit?
NONE of that matters because... you're making a case why swearing in some circumstances doesn't HELP... that's not the same as making a case for the WORDS being bad as opposed to the sentiment you choose to convey.
Earlier I noted the difference in two arguments here, one is that other peoples perception doesn't matter and the other is that it does.

We can all agree, correct or not, swears have a negative connotation attached to them - in todays society (which really is all that matters here - it's like trying to argue that you should be allowed to beat a student because corporal punishment was acceptable 40 years ago - you have to look at current social issues, whether you do or don't agree with them).
 
  • #130
Why has something remained that has no benefit?

Hmm, could it be the same reason homeopathy (in its various forms) and other non-sense things seem to persist over time, even though they provide no benefit? Perhaps because there is a perceived benefit?
Homeopathy is universal to all languages and cultures, and has been for millenia? Wait... no it isn't. Come on man, I don't want to play games like this.

Earlier I noted the difference in two arguments here, one is that other peoples perception doesn't matter and the other is that it does.

We can all agree, correct or not, swears have a negative connotation attached to them - in todays society (which really is all that matters here - it's like trying to argue that you should be allowed to beat a student because corporal punishment was acceptable 40 years ago - you have to look at current social issues, whether you do or don't agree with them).
This is a place for discussion... if not here, where?
 
  • #131
2,685
20
Homeopathy is universal to all languages and cultures, and has been for millenia? Wait... no it isn't. Come on man, I don't want to play games like this.

Note: "in its various forms". Every culture has its own medicines - some of which are no better than homeopathy - and yet they stick around.

Something sticking around does not imply a benefit (in today's world we should know that better than ever).
This is a place for discussion... if not here, where?
I don't understand?

Are you saying these words don't have a negative connotation attached to them?

Today's culture is that these words are frowned upon - could be totally subjective - people take them in an offensive manner.
 
  • #132
Whoa... turn on CNN or... anything. Egypt is... wow. Perspective, I think it may give a bit of perspective.
 
  • #133
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
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Good, then you got my point, and I think the converse holds true.
And you would be wrong, by the very definition of the word "curse".
That is the linguistic equivalent of, "If a tree falls in the woods.." It's a curse because it was obscene and offense, so it's a curse."
You're not making any sense. You're arguing against the very premise of your hypothetical:
Alice says a litany of curses
If Alice wasn't cursing in your hypothetical, then you shouldn't have said she was. Or are you just pulling a Humpty Dumpty and using "curse" to mean what you want it to mean, and just forgot to tell me what you meant?
 
  • #134
And you would be wrong, by the very definition of the word "curse".

You're not making any sense. You're arguing against the very premise of your hypothetical:

If Alice wasn't cursing in your hypothetical, then you shouldn't have said she was. Or are you just pulling a Humpty Dumpty and using "curse" to mean what you want it to mean, and just forgot to tell me what you meant?
Your entire argument is circular and semantic; only through that lens and your own personal bias does my argument become contradictory. Frankly, from what I can see you're just trying to regress the conversation. I don't blame you for it, but I'm not impressed or engaged either. Nothing you've said couldn't be addressed by re-reading this thread; it comes down to a bias you revealed in your earlier and less calculated posts. Taint...

Sorry, I just can't take this seriously... a group of grown men and women, all educated (I hope) who are debating a matter of taste, with the best "evidence" being that swearing isn't a "plus".

I know, I've said it before, and given a sufficient density I may be attracted again, but for now this is a matryoshka doll of word games about "naughty words".


edit: Sorry... You're a mentor... in SCIENCE right? So, that means you know that words are not fixed concepts even within a single dialect of a language. Yet... your initial argument is to rely on "the definition of the word curse". Taken to the absurd, you're arguing for the parthenogenesis of naughty words, instead of the complex feedback mechanism that it really is.
 
  • #135
Hurkyl
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Actually, I'm not done with your nonsense post. You are literally talking about a truncation of language; removing a subset of words from language so that the thoughts associated with them can no longer be expressed.
Going back to the situation in the opening post -- are you asserting that the office is an appropriate place for expressing profane thoughts?
 
  • #136
100
1
you can get away with some pretty profane talk as long as you shellac it in a veneer of multisyllabicism.
 
  • #137
you can get away with some pretty profane talk as long as you shellac it in a veneer of multisyllabicism.
Yep... doesn't seem to be making a dent here though... you see, there are MAGIC words that are chosen by us, but have power over us! It's not that saying, "I'll pray for you" in a snide voice isn't just as, or more offensive than, "**** you!", or the hypocrisy of what words are "swears" (the language of the common folk...). Frankly, what's most absurd is that someone who is a mentor on (arguably) the best science forum on the net in the last few years... thinks that saying, "Oh sugar", is somehow better than the obvious normal choice. Really... it's not a leap, it's a pratfall over a hurdle into "dung".

Oh, and is anyone going to address the issue: if you swear in a language that nobody here understands... is it OK? (I don't mean on PF, I mean in theory, since people seem to like to take little edits of posts).
 
  • #138
Going back to the situation in the opening post -- are you asserting that the office is an appropriate place for expressing profane thoughts?
The opening post, and everything since makes it clear that what's right in the office is what the office decides is right, much as with a website, or any other private gathering or industry.

So... it's not a matter of opinion; either something will happen as a result, and prove Flex wrong, or not, and he'll be right... until the policy changes... or the language... or "community standards".

By the way Hurkyl, how are those axioms I asked about yesterday coming? You just went away and then, when you came back... it's as though you'd forgotten. :cry:

My heart... it ah breaks.
 
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  • #139
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I just decided to check the definition for profanity, it is:
1. The condition or quality of being profane.
2.a. Abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language.
2.b. The use of such language.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/profanity

Given the this is the theme and title of this thread, doesn't that tell you why it shouldn't be acceptable in the workplace? The OP called it profanity, I don't see how you can form an argument for it being acceptable given the very definition of their own description.

The only way I can see something of an argument being formed is to put it under vulgar only, in which case it may work.
 
  • #140
Evo
Mentor
23,104
2,450
Can't think of a better place to close, thanks jared.
 

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