Why You Shouldn't Curse at Work (Much)

The media brouhaha over Carol Bartz’s coarse language in the wake of her firing was telling. Rather than responsibly assessing her merits as the chief executive of Yahoo!, the conversation instantly devolved into what kind of woman swears on the job. That, to me, is so twentieth century. When we’ve reached a point in our anything-goes culture that the anchors of the most important newscasts (Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert) curse nightly, and public figures like prime-time teenage role model Lea Michele, the actress who plays a goody-goody(ish) character on Glee, talks (as we used to say) like a stevedore in interviews, it strikes me that managers and executives need to seriously rethink the words they choose to communicate displeasure.

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