Workplace Profanity

A study — in fact, a British study — has found that nasty language and curse words in the workplace can help employees form social relationships, improve morale and reduce stress.

Hey, Eric, you wanna get some Chinese food after we finish that $&^%(*%$!#!@ conference book?

The original article is behind a paywall, which is one sure way to provoke invective. Consequently, I can’t find out more about the researchers’ methods or the particular environments they studied. Do the same basic principles apply to an automotive oil-change franchise and to an autoerotic, oil-crazy right wing “think tank”? Inquiring minds want to know. Baruch and Yeruda conclude their abstract as follows:

A certain originality element stems from the fact that, focusing on swearing language, the paper found it necessary to use swear words (avoiding usage of the explicit form); bearing in mind the purpose of the paper, the paper hopes that this will not cause offence to the readership of the journal.

I guess the Leadership & Organization Development Journal is stuffier than the linguistics journals which publish research on, say, the proper rules for infixing expletives.

Via Udo Schuklenk’s Ethx Blog and Russell Blackford.

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