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Never offend a captive audience


Never offend a captive audience

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SQL_EXPAT
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natural reaction to high stress/high impact working environments.... when trading systems are down there will be profanity... lots of it.

thanks

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P Jones
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Heartily agree. I recall working in the steam-pressing room of a clothing factory during university holidays - a real sweat shop as it was the hot summer of '76 - with a woman who swore so constantly it became boring and just obfuscated the point she was trying to make. During one rant whilst stuck at the ironing board, I counted 52 bl***y in five minutes!
My other half is in the building trade and building sites are noted for profanity. Trying to get some of them to moderate their language in other company outside work is very difficult and we've sometimes avoided the pub for that reason.
The usual saying is "You can take the builder out of the building site but you can't take the building site out of the builder"
GilaMonster
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SQL_EXPAT (11/7/2011)
natural reaction to high stress/high impact working environments.... when trading systems are down there will be profanity... lots of it.


Disagree. I used to work on a bank's trading system. When it was down, lots of stress, but little swearing. Some yes, but not lots.


Gail Shaw
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Paul Mu
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Very well put Phil. This is what separates the 'wheat from the chaff'. Anyone who uses profanity (including blesphemy) is lowering themselves in my estimation; that is, my respect for them diminishes at a rate in proportion to the frequency and tone of the 'bad' language.

Paul
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comes with the territory when working on a London trading floor or application support for a large exchange... in fact its mostly the senior alpha character people who talk like this especially during an outage... Part of the reason why finance looks for people with previous finance experience so they know they can take it... not an excuse, just the way it is... I have no lack of respect for someone who does - its just the way they are or have to be to be effective in some instances and it often gets rewarded....
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should that be "heartily"? Bad spelling is worse than swearing in my book!
john.riley-1111039
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I agree with Lon-860191. Profanity is inappropriate in technical writing and in presentations.
To my mind there is a word of difference between spoken profanity (which I occasionally succumb to) and written
profanity, which I never do. I often see profanity on Facebook and occasionally on Twitter. I don't get offended by it,
but just keep setting my own example without evangelising.
Ian Elliott
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While I do agree that there is no need for profanity in technical writing, documentation or presentations I completely disagree that it shouldn't be used in everyday life, workplace or otherwise.

This is actually a little annoyance of mine. Language in constantly evolving and what is/isn't accepted as profanity at any given time is generally dictated by society/culture and in lots of cases what societies deem as acceptable can vary wildly and be based on many factors, political agenda, religious views and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of some/the majority of the people or in fact the truth.

I don't want to go out of my way to offend people but it seems that these days people like to go out of their way to be offended as much as possible. If you know a comedian tells blue jokes and you don't like blue jokes then why watch him and them complain about him offending you!

This whole PC culture actually offends me, but as long as I don't say anything that may offend someone else then that's fine but if I have a different set of values and not being able to say what I like offends me then no one cares.

I will readily admit here that this may be stretching the topic a little and I am by no means advocating this argument to imply that things like racism are acceptable because not allowing it would infringe free speech (seriously that would just be stupid) but there is a world of difference between using words to offend and using words that may offend.

Getting back on topic; as has been said certain words will offend some cultures and not others and what is deemed profanity by one culture will not be by another. Society has it's place to dictate what is right and what is wrong (e.g. murder, crime) but on many things society shouldn't be involved at all as rarely reflects the opinions of those it claims to represent and rather the opinions of the richer, more powerful entities e.g. lobbyists, churches.

Things like the use of profanity are more down to the culture/upbringing/personality of the individual and should be left as such. If I use what you deem as profanity and it offends you and not me then I apologise but if you don't like it then you don't have to listen to me.

As I said this doesn't apply to technical writings or presentations as then you have an audience that has to listen to you and can't walk away so you do have to respect that but in any other environment (and I include the general workplace in this) when you can ignore me if you don't like what I say then ignore me. I won't be offended, honest.;-)
NULLgarity
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Perfectly put Phil. The most egregious example I've seen to date was in a PASS pre-conference seminar that contained both the harshest of profanities and blasphemy. Not only was the audience captive (as you are not supposed to switch precons), but they had paid good money for the right to be held captive.

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GSquared
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Manie Verster (11/6/2011)
I honestly do not understand why people, in any sphere of life, has to spice their words with swearing and bad language. It is bad taste.


I grew up in a culture where it was "just the way people talked". There was no negative to it, it wasn't either good or bad manners, it was just, as George Carlin put it, use of the most flexible word in the English language.

Never even occured to me that people would find some of those words offensive until I moved out of that culture in my late 20s.

One thing to keep in mind in judging "bad words", is that most of the stigma attached to most "bad words" is that they were Saxon in nature, and the conquering Normans thought that using any Saxon words at all was proof of personal inferiority. In other words, the negative connotation to most English "swear words" is just pure racism of Normans vs Saxons. By considering the words "bad", you are simply being pro-racist.

That doesn't apply to blasphemous/sacreligious terms/phrases, nor to racist or other deliberately derogitory terms, of course. But it does apply to most "four-letter-words" and related Saxonisms.

Does that grant a license to use them where people will be shocked/offended/upset? Of course not. But it's better to be aware of why those words are "offensive" (racism) than to consider them in some way inherently "bad".

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