Getting Real With Roses

Cuss Words and Swearing: Avoiding the Elephant in the Room

The one thing you can always rely on is the constant of change. As a result over time some things can become more or less acceptable. For example, consider the use of seat belts. Before 1968, seat belts were only rarely found in automobiles. Today the thought of driving around without a seat belt is sure to garner some disapproving stares, not to mention a ticket if youíre caught.

This evolution in thought can also be seen in the language we choose to use. Our choices are largely influenced by the things heard around us. This is why fans of British sci-fi or reality TV might find a new phrase or two creeping into their vocabulary. Even things like cuss words evolve over time. A phrase once meant to cripple someone in fear now might sound positively pedestrian while others still carry significant shock.

The Impact of Words

Interestingly, the reaction to particular words is often triggered by an element in our background along with the influences we come in contact with throughout our life. This can help explain why certain words have the power to cause great offense to some while others pass by relatively unnoticed. The impact of words often comes down to a matter of perspective, which can be largely influenced by the presence of other people and the environment they are spoken.

With this in mind, itís easy to see why there truly is a time and place for particular words. One of the best examples of this are cuss words. From the time we are young, cuss words can invoke a measure of power in the reaction they provoke. When uttered, the words can provide a feeling of power, offer a way to show excitement, or emphasize a feeling of great pain or frustration.

Right Time, Right Place

When strong emotions are present, it can be easy to understand why saying these words can offer a measure of satisfaction, but said in the wrong time and place, the words can take on an unintended reaction. Case in point, the job interview. Granted, itís bound to be stressful, but watching your words can make a significant difference and a better impression.

Think about it. When youíre looking for the perfect answer, why choose something as easy as a cuss word to describe your enthusiasm or determination? Why not instead use the moment as an opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of your knowledge and experience? Plus, thereís always the chance that a word could offend the very audience youíre looking to impress. In the event such excitement overtakes you and one of the dreaded words slips out, acknowledge it, apologize and move on.

Reasons to Forego Cuss Words in Interviews

  • Desire to show awareness of societal norms
  • Demonstrate good judgement
  • Preview of how you might work with clients and co-workers
  • Helps make a good first impression
  • Avoids assuming certain words to be okay

This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.