Watch Your Mouth

ObesenityYou might not believe this, but recent studies suggest swearing is more than just a bad habit–swearing might actually affect your mental health—and how well others treat you.

Harvard professor Steven Pinker devoted a whole chapter to profanity in his 2007 best-seller, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature. “You can use a swear word like f#&?k to basically ping the emotional centers of the brain and perk up a listener,” says Pinker. “But when it is overused, the word shifts from taboo to normal and doesn’t have the same effect. We’ve seen that happen in the twentieth century.”  Using curse words “just because” or to fill conversational space is just rude.  There’s a difference between using one bad word is not the same thing as stringing bad word after bad word as space fillers.  People have more important things to do than to listen to your rant.

IF you need to employ the occasional swear word then do so. However, as with all behavior, it’s about making those around you feel comfortable. Consider multiple factors before letting bad words fly: time (not during sensitive conversations), place (some words are never appropriate no matter where you are), company (your coworkers aren’t the same thing as friends), and image (how you want others to see you).

At a minimum, avoid using such language in public where strangers or distant acquaintances can overhear.

About allthingsetiquette

Lynley Jones presents Behave! All things Etiquette, an interactive and hilarious undertaking that will help you how to navigate your world with style and confidence. All Things Etiquette is an endeavor to further society's niceties, build self-esteem, self-respect, and respect for others.
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