We're Cursing More
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
“We’re cursing more. Blame the expletive Pandemic!”
That’s according to Anne Marie Chaker, in her recent Wall Street Journal article.
She highlights the language lowlights that have exploded since we were pushed into the pandemic.
We all know that our work-home boundaries are porous. And we’re still Zooming in gym shorts and yoga pants. And our kids and cats are making cameos. It’s casual! And, our interactions have become more casual, too. We’ve let our guard down. And our filters.
According to Michael Adams who’s a linguist, the pandemic stress and blurred boundaries and exhaustion make it “a perfect swearing storm.”
You might be thinking, “I cuss to get people’s attention” or “I just want to be myself.” I hear you. We all want to be ourselves. But we also need to respect that other people may be offended by expletives. You might also be thinking. “It’s not a problem for me. I can code switch and stop myself from cussing when I’m with people who I think won’t like it”. In my experience, it’s tricky -- to toggle between cursing and using more refined language.
Plus, you never really know who will be offended and who will be OK with it. It’s risky.
Here’s a Confidence Project tenet. “It’s easier to go from professional to casual than it is from casual to professional.” Once people see us and hear how we present ourselves, it’s hard for them to think of us differently the next time. In the case of cussing, err on the side of professional.
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