Modern Etiquette: That blue language could affect your career

Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:26am EDT
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By Pamela Eyring

(Reuters) - “Do you eat with that mouth?”

It’s a question you may have asked when coming into contact with a profanity-prone colleague or office mate. But when it comes to swearing in the business environment, what is in poor taste and how does it affect your professional image?

According to a 2012 survey by Careerfinder, foul words may not only affect your reputation, they may also affect your chance for promotion.

After surveying more than 2,000 hiring managers and 3,800 workers across industries and company sizes, 64 percent of employers said that they’d think less of an employee who repeatedly used curse words, and 57 percent said they’d be less likely to promote someone who swears in the office.

So who’s using all that blue language? According to the survey, half of the respondents reported swearing in the office and the majority of those (95 percent) reported that they curse in front of their co-workers.

Another 51 percent admitted to cursing in front of their boss or supervisors. And if you think that only men are using foul language, the survey indicates that women are catching up with their male counterparts with 47 percent of women admitting to cursing while on the company clock.

As the day-to-day demands on today’s workers continue to increase, swearing can be a way to let off some steam.

However, that doesn’t mean that your office should sound like a drunken wrestling match or a scene out of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Guinness World Records title-holder for most swearing in one film!).   Continued...