Confession:  When I was eight or nine, I saw the F word written on the girl’s rest room wall at school. Later that day I asked my mother what the word meant.  Her answer, a cry of outrage as she grabbed my hand and hauled me to kitchen sink where she washed my mouth out with either Old Dutch Cleanser or a Brillo Pad.  Think it was Old Dutch. Not one of my mother’s finer moments.

I joke a great deal that one of the outcomes of my analysis was being able to say the F word.  When we became foster parents I said we should ignore cursing.  Probably an over-reaction to my mother’s harshness but allowing a free language rein was all wrong.  After three weeks of out control behavior on the part of our foster children, my husband insisted the bad language stop.  So did most of the out of control behavior.

This article caught my eye because of the two above experiences.

Should Leaders Ever Swear? – Our Editors – Harvard Business Review.

It is a quick read but here is a quote that sums much of it up.

Baruch and Jenkins group workplace profanity into two types: “social swearing,” generally used in casual conversation, and “annoyance swearing,” the “Oh s–t” variety that’s especially common in high-stress environments like trading floors. They see value in both types of usage. Social swearing “can serve to manifest and signal solidarity,” they write, while annoyance swearing “provides a ‘relief mechanism’ for the release of stress and tension.” 

I was at our community swimming  pool recently when two twenty somethings engaged in a name calling contest yelling back and forth “Suck A–.” no “You Suck A–.”

No one complained although a number of people were obviously distressed.  Sometimes I get on my Cranky Old Lady high horse and speak to public offenders.  Didn’t this time, wish I had.

Hang around any group of the coming generation and you can expect the F word to be part of their conversation.  I agree with the idea such language serves as a kind of emancipation and rite of passage.  Nor do I mind what is said in private or among friends.

I am also of the opinion that not having taught our kids the difference between private and public conversations has diluted the power of the need to express a strong emotion through words.  When we imposed language control on our teens, we made a point we didn’t care what they side when in the presence of peers, but would punish for bad language in our presence. Think that rule taught respect for others.

I was always amazed at how quickly the majority of our foster children cleaned up their language in our presence.  The few that didn’t had self destructive agendas.


Tip one: Train your mouth to think before spitting out words others might find objectionable.

Tip two: Forgive other people’s occasional lapses.

Tip three: Protest bad public language as harmful to children and peace.


Be kind to  me,  like this post, comment or  share.  You will be helping me stay strong and maybe  others as well.   Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BY: can’t find the link. Forgive.


While looking for the image link came across this.  Plan to print it up and post it at our complex’s swimming pool.  This image from:http://www.goodsirs.net/gentleman/

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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