Curse words are part of everyday life. On TV, social media and even on the t-shirts that we wear we are bombarded with these phrases every day.
For most of us, they have become second nature, simply a bad habit that we no longer even notice. But do these words have a place in our offices and workplaces?
Earlier this week Julie Dennis, head of diversity and inclusion at arbitration service Acas, told the women and equalities select committee in the UK that the organisation had heard from employees who were uncomfortable at the behaviour of their younger colleagues.
“We have had calls where older workers are talking about the language used in the workplace and that younger workers are using language now that many of us would not deem appropriate in the workplace.” She states.
“Because of youth culture they’re coming out with certain statements or words that many of us in the workplace are quite taken aback with – so there’s that culture of banter and not understanding language as well.”
As workplaces become more relaxed and flexible is it only natural that our language becomes less rigid also? Of course, there are arguments for and against.
On one hand, while curse words are often crass, they are not outwardly offensive (unless they are aimed at one person or group). They have simply become part of our vocabulary. The weight that they hold for older generations is not the same for millennials and generation Z.
On the other hand, a lot of people see curse words as a cop-out. A lazy way to express yourself get your point of view across. To certain people, excessive swearing may seem brutish and ignorant.
The solution? Each workplace will be different. If language and conduct are not laid out in your contract then you should follow management’s example. Don’t f*ck it up!