According to some business insiders, profanity is an inseparable and integral aspect of modern workplace. Bear Stearns junior partner and a former Morgan Stanley corporate, Dennis Gibb, “Wall Street is a hotbed of profanity”. He owes this to inflated ego and hyperbolic skeptics who crave to make millions. Profanity becomes quite appropriate or obvious for someone who buys a thousand shares since your ego gets accentuated. Notwithstanding bad language in television flicks, which are replete with colloquial slangs, swearing can be handy in reducing stress if combined intelligently with humor. This is beneficial for those working under ceaseless pressures, he asserted.
Vulgar language seems to be a norm rather than an exception at different jobs today. Some people attribute this transition to the impact of populist and popular culture. Cursing at office is the professional alphas for most. Gibb says that people implement profanity as a strategized weapon to display dominance, neglect, disregard or impunity. Professor of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and an authoritative figure on swearing, Timothy Jay, discerns that Type-A, extrovert personalities tend to use strong parlance more. Certain personality factors invariably propel curse words like masculinity or impulsivity, he adds in a theoretical note. Such people cannot restrain their usage of foul words since they use them to attain personal gains like stress reduction and affect others in the form of bullying.
Noted author Melissa Mohr describes how historically, taboo or tempestuous language has been compliant with pre-dominant male behavior. People also wear when they hurt themselves, or when they are happy and angry, she explains. But it becomes forthright display during a belligerent act. Swearing emotionally stimulates the speaker, she affirms. The contemporary phenomenon of women doing the same in public is comparatively new, but general profanity has been perennial in the greater pitch of society, she said. Word incorporation indicates the “sexual scheme” of the speaker alongside the social order. This happens with provocative or offensive language. Her study of abuses in ancient Roman society envisages the segregation of men into active and passive folds. The first category had ‘real men’, who could acquaint themselves with everybody. The passive fold denoted the stigmatized lot.
Modern precedents preserve the loop between sex and profanity since many raunchy words still indicate body parts or carnal stuff. This creates incongruous usage at workplaces. There are some like Heath Davis Havlick, who feel professionalism and profanity are mutually exclusive. A media relations specialist, he said profanity is upsetting and demeaning when directed at one’s colleagues. Choosing words carefully and being alert will not inflame anyone in any way, she opines. Gender-driven insults, humiliations and racial epithets invite legal action under the federal law and worker’s protection laws. However, profanity escaped from this framework. This is mainly because it is customary to use obscene words or swear these days. It has myriad interpretations, including affection or humor. A 2004 study in the Journal of Pragmatics stated that swearing can bolster camaraderie at office, and cast a bonding influence over employees. However, Manhattan businessman Charles Pooley thinks otherwise. He has instituted a strict, non-negotiable anti-profanity policy in Workfolio, where he is the founder and CEO. According to him, cursing denotes insecurity, imposition or forced acceptance.