Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Professionals' Language...

I'm curious what y'alls thoughts are on this matter...

Does anyone else seem to carefully note professionals when they are acting in the role of their profession and they use a "curse" word?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging and condemning anyone from using a "cuss word." I've definitely used my fair share throughtout my life, but I've always found I take close note when I hear one from the mouth of a professional when they are supposidely "acting in their role of a professional."

I just say this tonight, because I thought it was interesting with the psychologists that were at our house this evening having dinner with our family. Though it was a casual dinner setting, they were there for professional purposes, though I'm sure they wanted it to appear as "normal" as always, but whatever the case, one of the gentleman said "damn" on two occassions while he was conversing with the family around the dinner table. The second time he said it he apologized however. And yes, it wasn't like there were extremely young children around the table, I mean the youngest "kid" there was 12, but still, I just noted that.

I've always been one that is careful to completely have a feel for my surroundings before I use profanity, if I plan to use it at all. However, I suppose this could be looked at as "how bad is damn."

Whatever the case, I don't want to seem as if I'm even limiting this to a psychologist, as I am sure most of you are aware, from one of my previous posts about the professor I have this semester who told our class to "Get off our asses and help, or stop saying s**t." Then proceeded with "Just shut the f**k up." And then there was the lawyer I went to about a month back for prepping who used "s**t" and "smartasses" on several occassions just in our brief 20 or 30 minute talking.

Maybe it's just me, but it just always makes me perk up more when I'm in a setting with a professional who cusses without apparent second thought to his/her surroundings. I just don't feel professionalism and cussing go together so much.

I guess it just comes down to my belief that as a professional, especially with the education these types of professionals I'm referring too should have, I would feel they would be more courteous and sensitive to their surroundings.

If this makes any sense, I'm not saying I think a person is "bad" for using a damn or an ass in their talk every so often, I just feel in the role of a professional it should be something that is taken into consideration in situations, as is an individual's dress code for certain situations.

[Disclaimer: I'm on Nyquil right now, so I can tell my typing is really off, and I don't think my thoughts are coming clear either....HA! Sorry.]


julesforstenholm said...

Great topic! This is something of which I take very close notice! While I don't condemn or hold anything against anyone who cusses (I might have even said a few :)), I have somewhat of a problem with the use of cuss words in some situations.

First of all, cussing is so unoriginal. Same ol', same ol'. Come up with some funnier words to use instead of the same 7 words that everyone uses! Haha!

Anywho, I think it comes down to recognition of the fact that not everyone feels that cussing is appropriate. In a professional setting, I believe that the "pro" should be aware of his/her surroundings, and understand that it can be offensive to cuss. Certain standards should be set in that type of setting, and I fully believe that the words a person uses speak volumes about the person, no pun intended.

However, this usually isn't the case. At least not in any professional setting in which I've been. Most people don't look beyond themselves to realize that a professional setting is not the time to let loose those "unoriginal" words, and that it bothers some people. In fact, I think it's lazy!

So, am I being closed-minded? I have a very strong opinion about this... not sure why, but I do. I would, however, listen to a differing opinion, but I can't think of any reason why it would be okay. Well, maybe one... Tourette's. Haha! I'm curious to see if anyone feels differently! I'd like to see some other opinions! Just no guarantees that I'll agree with them! :)

Good blog, Kim!

GITCHA said...

I agree that in the work place curse words as I like to call them should be avoided at all cost. Especially, if you work around young children.

I often hear around my school these curse words that staff use. They even use the F-bomb at my school. This is outrageous considering that there are young elementary children around. Having gone to ACU for my schooling I am still not desensitized to hearing these "bad" words in person. A part of me wants to say "Hey you can't say that" and the the other part of me reminds myself that I am an adult and not in "Kansas" anymore. Last Tuesday I heard my grandfather curse for the first time in my life. Part of me was in shock and the other part of me just laughed partly because of the context that he used it in.

In a professional setting though we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. However, does this mean that I associate bad language to those less educated or to low socioeconomic status groups, thus I don't believe it should be used in the workplace? Now I will have to think that one over.

Amanda B. said...

I agree with what has been posted already, but I do have a little to add.

Last summer in doing my internships (one for a law firm and one for a prosecutor's office), I got very used to hearing cussing in the office. At first I was appalled, for the same reasons that have already been stated. These people are professionals and they can't even think of original, clean ways to express themselves?

But after a couple of weeks, I had a slightly different opinion. In some settings, such as the law firm/prosecutor's office, the only place where you are ethically allowed to express yourself (especially your anger at certain situations/clients) is in the office. You can't go home and tell your spouse/friends/family about the situation since these situations are always confidential. So maybe cussing in the office in that situation is more understandable (although under no circumstances in front of the client!).

As far as the college setting, I can understand why the "students are old enough to deal with it" rationale is used. We are old enough to deal with it, although that doesn't necessarily mean that we ought to have to do so.

Don't get me wrong, I personally don't think that cussing is warranted in most situations, including the ones discribed above, and it's the very rare situation where I myself would be inclined to cuss (maybe Kim's description of me as a "good girl" goes along with this--haha!). I'm merely pointing out that there may be some professional situations where it may not be as bad as others.

Just as a comment to your own experience with the psychologists, Kim, it seems that he should have paid more attention to his language, regardless of the appology. After all, he is there to find out if you guys are the "perfect" family and that's the kind of example he sets? Interesting.