In our construction business, my husband asks the employees to refrain from using curse words when they’re in the company of clients.

Especially women and children.

Because it is “the client” who creates work for all of us and ultimately provides an income from which we can pay the bills, he wants our employees to act respectful while on a job site.

Now, when they leave the job, that’s another story. Swearing and profanity on blogs and social networking sites

The employees are free to say what they want, how they want.

Today’s Lesson

Online we have freedom of speech.

We may not have clients who “pay the bills”, nor do we HAVE TO show respect.

We can say whatever we want, however we want.

And because of that, some will use profanity to bully others, get a point across, or to show off.

Others will write like they talk, which often includes the use of curse words.

And in some cultures, what some readers may see as offensive, isn’t offensive at all.

Personally, I don’t incorporate swear words into my writings, nor do I mind seeing a few curse words online. However, if a blog post is littered with offensive language or images, I click off.

Those types of posts are not my preferred reading material.

That said, with the world wide web being so large, I’m sure there’s an audience for that, too.

What say you?

Today’s Assignment

How do you feel about profanity in blogs and on social networking sites?

Do you use it?

Or are you offended by it?

Care to share?

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  1. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    Contrary to what some people might believe, I swear. I don’t incorporate it into my writings though; I will sometimes block out some of the letters of a swear word, or use it for fun; not attack. On certain blogs where it is the norm I will swear because it is “the” understood language.

    I don’t necessarily get offended by the words; it’s the attitude behind them and the context in which they are used that becomes the issue for me. People have the right to say what what they say, but there will always be a response or reaction to it. I don’t think swearing is the best way to get a point across though and people do have the right to ignore it as much as the other person has the right to put it out.
    Check out Davina’s awesome post.This is How You Don’t Skip RocksMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      You’ve raised an interesting point. Some blogs do set the tone for “rougher” language. When the blog author uses curse words, they’re apt to see some of those who comment use curse words, too. It’s like everyone in trying to stay on the same page, speaking in the same “language”.

  2. VenNo Gravatar says:

    I rarely ever swear, speaking or writing. Only in extreme anger have I ever let a swear word slip and, even then, it’s usually mild compared to the things some people say. Even when repeating something another person has said, I will replace the swear word with B-word or F-word or something like that. I don’t say the actual word.

    It has a lot to do with how I was raised. I grew up with a very religious mother who would not tolerate any swearing. Once, when I was ten, I let my tongue slip when a shoelace broke and got a good spanking followed by a month-long grounding. It’s a lesson I never forgot.

    I also grew up hearing my grandmother say swearing is a sign of lack of intelligence. “Only stupid people swear,” she would say. “Intelligent people know how to get their point across without resorting to vulgarity.” I’ve met a lot of smart people who swear constantly, so I doubt that’s true, but I find that, in general, I tend to have less respect for people who swear.

    If I find a really good blog and the writer occasionally uses a swear word, I won’t recoil in shock and horror, refusing to ever read them again. But, if I come across someone who swears all the time, I probably won’t keep reading for long. Like my grandmother, I prefer to read people who can get their point across without resorting to vulgarity.
    Check out Ven’s awesome post.Inspiring Story of Courage and DeterminationMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ven,

      I agree. Our upbringing has a lot to do with swearing, both in the real world and online. Like you, I was also raised with strict parents and even the word “shut up” was disallowed. We were told it showed disrespect, and to this day it’s rare I say it.

  3. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll swear on occasion, but very, very rarely…, to the point that some of my students and co-workers that I spent a lot of time with over the years were surprised to hear such words from me.

    I have asked people to take “that kind of language” somewhere other than my office. One individual I’m thinking of swore like the stereotypical sailor, except he’d never been on a ship, never was a sailor. I was the sailor, not him, and not all sailors swear.

    If I subscribe to a blog and the blogger swears on occasion, that’s okay. If it’s more than just occasionally, it gets annoying and, eventually, I’ll unsubscribe.

    Words that seem normal can be very offensive to others. The impact of words can also change over time. In my new project, I’ll be blogging material from the 1860s and I’m not going to change the words. I will, where the language would be particularly offensive today, include a disclaimer warning.
    Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.Keep it short! β€” sometimes.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      I’ll bet when you did swear, you got peoples attention, since that wasn’t the norm for you.

      That’s true; what was/is offensive at one point in history, may not be at other times. I’m looking forward to reading your new blog. I don’t think I’ve ever read dialogue from the 1860s and if you’re sharing the information in the original “language, that’s going to make it even more fascinating.

      • Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

        The blog is live already, mixing diary and other writings from 150 years ago to the day, on a day-to-day basis with other older material to provide background for the sentiments and politics that lead to the war, though no one quite believes yet that it will come to that.

        For instance, in today’s single post: “On the morning of the 2nd Grandpa and Grandma set out for North Carolina, taking the boys with them. I had hoped we could go to visit them this coming summer but Father says planters in the South will have to stay at home for awhile. The sky is clear now but the storm may come at any time.
        Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.Keep it short! β€” sometimes.My Profile

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Mike,

          Thank you for giving me the heads up on your new site. For some reason I thought it wasn’t going live until next year. I have since checked it out and will be back to read more of the posts. So far, I’m enjoying what you shared.

  4. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t put swearing in any of my online writings for much the same reason that Ven outlines above. However, I have been known to have a bit of a gutter mouth in my everyday life, which is strange because I usually only swear when I’m very very VERY angry.

    Unlike most folks who swear for some kind of emotional release, my swearing usually only makes me much more angry and tense… which is why I endeavour not to swear at all. Also, I don’t think it’s terribly respectful of other people (and perhaps their sensibilities) to curse like crazy around them. So yeah, I’m working on it…

    So, just as in everyday life, I endeavour not to include swearing in my online writing. Not only can it be disrespectful to those who may not want to read such things, it really doesn’t take a lot of talent or skill to write such things… it really doesn’t. I prefer to be more creative with my writing if I’m going to express such strong or raw sentiments.

    You can read an example of what I’m talking about here:

    You can see that I’ve quite obviously substituted certain words for others in this particular post. I do this to take the sting out of proceedings, as it were, to show up the absurdity of certain language by being more creative with it. And plus it’s fun! πŸ˜›

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      I find that fascinating; that when you do swear, it only makes you more angry and tense. In a way, that could explain why some can’t seem to stop swearing. It’s like it feeds itself.

      I like you idea of pushing yourself to be creative with words instead of resorting to curse words. It’s a good lesson in writing, plus you’re not apt to offend anyone.

      P.S. Thank you for sharing the link. You did a great job with that post. πŸ™‚

  5. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    During my time as a volunteer firefighter, I swore a lot. I think dealing with life and death issues brought out a coarser side of my language. As a karate instructor, I rarely, if ever swore in front of a class, and not in front of kids. As a blogger, it seems there are so many better ways to express what a cuss word implies, but I’ve been known to salt my words in poetry and more emotionally charged writings. The heavy use of profanity in a blog turns me off if it comes charged with anger, but not so much if it’s done for wild, raw humor.
    Check out Lori Hoeck’s awesome post.To take a stand takes courage, ownershipMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      I can see how some professions can lead to more swearing, especially if you’re dealing with stressful situations like you were.

      Yes. Cuss words charged with anger can be a turn off, but like you said, if it’s done tastefully with humor, it’s more tolerable.

  6. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    I swear sometimes in my writing if it seems to fit in with the context of what I’m writing. I’d probably be more conservative with my language if I were writing for informational purposes, but since I write for entertainment, I’m okay with risking offending some people.

    To be respectful I don’t swear in the comments on other people’s blogs unless I know for sure that it’s okay. I’m also pretty lax in my own life with saying things like “Oh Gawd” but I refrain on other people’s blogs/status updates.

    I am not one of those that thinks it’s necessarily less creative to incorporate swearing in one’s writing. Some people might use it as a crutch but they are words just like any other and can be used creatively just like any other word. On the other side, I don’t think people who are offended by profanity are necessarily prudish and I respect their decision, but it does irk when it’s done in a way that implies some sort of superiority.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      To me, what you’re practicing is blogging etiquette; where you may use swear words on your own blog, but not in the comment sections of others.

      I’m happy you also brought up the point of how it might matter depending on what type of blog we have. Like you said, swearing may not be suitable for an informational blog, but on an entertainment blog, it’s more acceptable.

  7. From my perspective where I am trying to teach the consequences of your online reputation and the effect it has on your job search, career, and future, I would not swear nor would I recommend it to anyone I was working with. If you are independently wealthy and have a sustainable lifelong income then I suppose you can say what you want. However, I would never gamble my future on not ending up offending a client, colleague, prospective employer, or anyone else with the potential for impacting my future.

    Personally, I avoid swear words completely because it isn’t in my nature though I confess that once in awhile I say something I shouldn’t. But as Tony, Mike, and Ven said, there is usually a better and more creative way to say things than resorting to writing vulgarities.
    Check out Julie Walraven | Resume Services’s awesome post.Your Phone in the JobsearchMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      You came to mind as I was writing this post since I feel blogs are an online resume, and that’s what you do for a living; create resumes for others. πŸ™‚

      You’ve raised a good point. If we hope to do more with our blogs or want to pursue a career online, we may be gambling if we constantly spice up our posts or comments with profanity. Since we never know who is reading our work, we never know who we may be offending nor the opportunities that can be passing us by.

  8. Terrilyn QuintanillaNo Gravatar says:

    I also was told that “intelligent people never swear”, and that is something I’ve adhered to all my life. My parents rarely swore in my presence, and then, only when my dad was furious with some thing or other.

    I do not believe that swearing is appropriate when dealing with the public at large, when in the workplace, or when in formal settings. As for blogs, I do realise that they are “online diaries” and the bloggers are free to share their thoughts how they wish. However, I would not want my blogs to potentially hinder my career advancement. I would not read a blog that had more than 1 or 2 swear words in it.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Terrilyn,

      That’s true. Blogs are online diaries and bloggers can say whatever they choose. What you said is a good reminder that even though we have free speech, when we use it to communicate with swear words, we also risk losing readers.

  9. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I avoid use swear words whether online or personally. As my aim is to become more peaceful in nature, I don’t find that using swear words congruent. My take is also that when you “swear” at others, you also attract situations that are of the same resonance. With swearing, the intent can be to convey hurt, complain, show anger or to get attention….these are what our egos love us do.
    Check out Evelyn Lim’s awesome post.10 Sure-Fire Tips To Making Creative Visualization Fun!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      I know what you’re saying. Hearing or reading too many swear words can appear as negativity and project the wrong intent. And yes, those who swear at others, receive it back. It’s karma in action.

  10. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I write for entertainment, not to sell my business. And for adults…not children. So I find swear words, if used in moderation, can help get the point across, and make things funnier.

    Good examples of this are John Stewart from the Daily Show, or Stephen Colbert. They get bleeped just often enough for the audience to enjoy it…but not so much as to appear crude or vulgar.

    On the other hand, some bloggers use swearing as their trademark (I think you can guess which ones I’m talking about). Where every 2nd word is some form of cursing.

    At that point, it defeats the purpose. The “shock value” quickly grows old, and you feel like telling them “Come on..GROW UP…and learn to express yourself like an adult”.

    Not that I’m offended…but it’s an easy way out. Drop a few F-bombs, and hey, lookit, I stand out from the crowd.

    As opposed to trying to stand out by writing well…which is a lot more difficult.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      Your blog is a lot like Tracy’s; for entertainment purposes, and not business. So yes, curse words properly used, can make a post funnier.

      And that’s true. Reading blogs where the author feels they need to resort to curse words for shock value, quickly become old.

  11. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t mind reading them but they do get old after a while. In my own writing, I sometimes use curse words related to fecal matters, but not the ones about sexual intercourse. Even that, I don’t use them very often because those words lose their effects fast if you do.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      Yes. Overuse of cuss words can lose their impact fast, whether we’re using them, or reading them.

  12. Don’t use it, am not offended by it. πŸ™‚
    Check out vered | professional blogger’s awesome post.Shiny Happy People (Stock Photography Rant)My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Now that you mention it, I realize I’ve never read anything you’ve written in which you’ve cursed. πŸ™‚

  13. I’m not offended by profanity, however I very rarely use it myself. There are certain words I would never use. I personally think it’s unprofessional on a business post, but I don’t really give it much thought if I read it.
    Check out Heather Villa’s awesome post.How to Re-Use Old Coaching SessionsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      I’m with you. Profanity in business posts is very unprofessional. Even if a business assumes they know who their readers are, we never know who else is visiting.

  14. The ocassional curse or profanity doesn’t really offend me, but sites that are liberally seasoned with it are not my cup of tea.

    However, I suppose in certain circumstances profanity could be considered an intricate part of a blog’s make up. It would depend on the writer, the topic and the audience.

    Blog With Wings offers content related to creating and maintaining a successful blog. I don’t think that the use of profanity would enhance that mission much. And though I am not getting paid in the literal sense, my compensation for my efforts is to keep my current audience and attract new readers at the same time. Profanity does not add to the professional tone of the site and might offend my readership. So no profanity for me, damn it. πŸ™‚
    Check out Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella’s awesome post.Comments Are The Pebbles You Toss In The PondMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joella,

      Yes. There may be certain circumstances where profanity can be used and it’s not offensive, but like you said, on your blog it could easily detract new readers from signing on or returning to read your updates.

  15. I write as I talk minus the swearing. Come to think of it, I don’t use it nearly as much as I once did in real life either; perhaps an aging thing, who knows. I digress…

    I suppose like anything else it has it’s place online; controversial topic blogs might be a good example, but in most niches, especially professional niches such as marketing…umm, not so much.

    I recently had a, hmm…”disagreement” with a guest poster on another blog about this very topic; the post in question was saturated with it. Completely unnecessary and quite unprofessional looking.

    Btw, did you happen to catch I said “guest post”? I think this is what threw me the most. They were friends, sure, but c’mon now.

    I won’t mention the blog as I do respect him; perhaps not as much as I did before though.

    Am I wrong?
    Check out Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing’s awesome post.6 Blogs – 6 Blog Themes. All the Same or All Different? It’s a Branding Issue…My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      Wow. For someone to allow a guest post that’s filled with profanity, I think is taking a risk, especially if the readers of the blog are not accustomed to it.

      Are you wrong? Hmmmmm. I don’t know how to answer that but as discussed in the guest post post, the host blogger is the one who is ultimately responsible for what gets published on their blog.

  16. DotNo Gravatar says:

    Having spent many years living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan, I’m not offended by foul language. There, “f—” is as common as “the.” You become desensitized, and the word loses its impact. I used it constantly.

    Having spent even more years here in the slightly more genteel Washington, DC, the foul language has mostly disappeared from my vocabulary, except on occasion when I’m alone or with New Yorkers.

    As for those who constantly use foul language for impact or to be funny, I recall advice I read to comedians who do that — it’s just laziy.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      That’s a good point. When we are constantly subjected to cussing, we do become desensitized to it. I don’t know if the same thing happens in blogs, but I do know when I start seeing too much of it, I just click off.

  17. George AngusNo Gravatar says:


    I’m generally too mellow to be offended by such things unless they are peppered throughout the article and make no impact for emphasis.

    I don’t shy away from profanity when I write for my blog although I can’t say I’ve ever dropped an “F-bomb” other than in a short fiction piece (and that garnered a response from a long time reader who said that in good conscience she could not stumble or tweet such profanity.


    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      I never thought of that. How if we use profanity, others won’t help to promote our posts. And when we think about that, if someone else is Stumbling, Tweeting or Facebooking a post of ours, it’s also a reflection on them.

  18. Hey, Barbara, I have become increasingly careful of not throwing out cuss words on my blog. In a face-to-face conversation cuss words may come across as not offensive at all, but in the written word they might not always be interpreted as intended. As Mike points out, words that seem “normal” to us may be offensive to others.

    Where I come from, as where Dot’s from swearing is very common. A cultural thing for sure. It’s fun going home! πŸ™‚

    If I’m Stumbling and find a blog with a lot of profanity, along with that negative attitude Davina mentioned, I click off.

    Happy Day, Barbara!


    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      That’s true. The written word can be interpreted in so many different ways, we don’t know if others will be offended. It’s just like the slang we use; others may be left shaking their heads trying to figure out what we mean.

  19. sharboriNo Gravatar says:


    I have been following your blog for a while and I like your style of putting your points simply yet succinctly.

    to answer your question, I would very much echo your sentiments. While I do not mind a little bit of profanities being used by some one, I would probably not read a blog full of it, unless there is a specific purpose attached to it ( e.g. someone blogging about profanities and its implication in usage of language, etc). I dont get impressed by someone using profanities just for creating impact.

    And I do not use it either in my blog.
    Check out sharbori’s awesome post.Amazing women in my life – part 1 (continued)My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sharbori,

      That’s a good point. If someone was writing a post about cuss words and their meaning, or something like that, that’s a different story as it would be expected and accepted.

  20. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I cuss on occasion and sometimes you just got to drop the f-bomb to let off a little steam. However, I’ve had to watch it more with my children. When I was in junior high I started cussing because I thought it would make me look cool. I quickly found out that I wasn’t impressing anyone, so I cut way back, but sometimes they still slip when I’m mad or frustrated.

    In my blog I usually avoid the cuss words or will censor them. I don’t use them often because I don’t want to offend.

    My biggest problems with the online cussing are two fold:
    1. If I’m at work and reading blogs for work, I don’t like to have a search history of sites that use a lot of vulgarity even if they do make a good point.

    2. I don’t like it on Facebook because often my kids are looking over my shoulder. If I know a blog I’m about to look at has cuss words, I can chase them off, but if I’m on Facebook, I never know what will pop up. This also is a consideration when I’m at work.
    Check out Debbie Yost’s awesome post.Wordless Wednesday – Play Ball!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      You’ve raised two good points. When we rely on blogs for work, if our searches were to be monitored, it could be a bad reflection on us if the sites we’re clicking on are filled with profanity.

      And yes, the entries on Facebook (and sometimes Twitter, too) can end up containing cuss words. It makes me wonder how parents are able to monitor their kids activities online since you would never know where the next click will lead.

  21. Sam LiuNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m fine with a bit of extreme language in blog posts, as long as its not used excessively. I share your view – if a post is nothing but profanity after profanity, then I don’t waste my time reading it.

    I would use curse words in my posts if I thought they were necessary. That is, if I were writing a piece from a character perspective and I thought that that character would you use those sorts of words, I would not stop myself from publishing. But I would always have a note at the start of the post, informing my readers if there was any offensive language in the post so as to prevent any potential dispute. Its crucial that as bloggers we express ourselves, but are also considerate in doing so.
    Check out Sam Liu’s awesome post.Art, Wisdom And InspirationMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sam,

      What a great idea; to have a disclaimer preceding the post, letting readers know “the following” may contain offensive language. Not only would that alert readers, but I think the readers would have more respect for you since you’ve thought of their feelings.

  22. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    Ah Barbara, I’m a lot like you. If I read a curse word here or there that’s no big deal. But when a blogger uses them like I use the word “the” in my sentences, I click away.

    You know, there’s enough crap going on in life that I don’t have to read someone else’s attitude issues.

    I use curse words once-in-a-while on my blog, but very rarely. I guess I just write like I talk.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      That’s true. We all have enough going on in our lives without reading “attitude”. And like Evelyn (see earlier comment) mentioned, cursing has a negative connotation to it. Who needs that?

  23. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Swear words just don’t fit my style but I am not offended if folks use them. I did go through a period of time though when I was so angry about life that I did use swear words at home to vent.

    When my oldest daughter and teacher were confronted by another student with a gun at school and we were called in to talk about how my child had low self-esteem – though 3 of her teachers did not even know her name (October) I listened to everyone, felt how unsafe it was for her at that school, mentally was so happy she had left school and walked home and wanted to home school (which we did) When the powers that be were all done explaining that my child’s low self-esteem made it happen – I said F**k Y** and took her hand and we left the school for good.

    That term to me is about RAPE and I used it appropriately….too many women are violated every day and children to use it without that power in mind.

    It is not a very casual term with me.
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.WISE WORDSMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for sharing your story. That was a smart move on your part to remove her from the school. Undoubtedly she got a much better education at home.

      Your comment reminds me of how some will use profanity but do not consider the meaning of the words and what those words mean to others. Profanity, if used incorrectly, can scar a person for life.

  24. Bruce DanielsNo Gravatar says:

    Much like everyone else has commented, I am not offended at all by an occasional colorful metaphor, but if a post is filled with vulgarity, I’m out.
    I prefer not to use profanity in anything I write and you will never find it on my blog. I got over using vast amounts of profanity long ago. My Mother used to wash my mouth out with soap for cussing, I guess the after taste of the soap lasts for many years. There are way more entertaining ways to express ones self, a great one liner will out perform a single cuss word every time.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bruce,

      Oh yeah! The old “wash your mouth out with soap” punishment. Like you said, the taste of soap lasts for years and acts as a continual reminder to “keep it clean”.

      I like your idea of good one liners. You’re right. They go a lot further than cuss words.

  25. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I wouldn’t use swear words in my posts and I wouldn’t use them in commenting on other blogs.

    I did see a ‘friend’ swearing on FB & was immediately put off .. not done.

    So often – that sort of opinion is one sided .. with no thought about other aspects .. it is a knee jerk reaction .. and usually really stupid. If we take time to think .. we realise that we can look at the point or subject in another light.

    Personally I really do dislike swearing in a written format – having said that I do swear in my speech – but usually with tongue in cheek .. so people see what I’m reacting to & we can laugh at the same time. I must stop doing it .. & I certainly don’t do it very often now ..

    Profanity .. sets a bad example in my mind .. and it’s something we should be avoiding – especially in public, social media, blogging, on tv, radio etc

    Good thoughts .. and obviously if you work in a business you must do your best for your customers .. you want them back.

    Have a good weekend .. Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Ever Thought of a Map as an Encyclopedia?My Profile

  26. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hilary,

    You brought up a good point. How some “talk” on their blogs may be completely different than how they talk on social networking sites. It’s almost like we’re seeing two completely different people.

    Yes. In business it’s important to show customers we care. Respect goes a long way and can often result repeat business as well as referrals.

    Have a good weekend, too. πŸ™‚

  27. ColleenNo Gravatar says:

    “How do you feel about profanity in blogs and on social networking sites?”

    I do not like it. I find profanity completely unnecessary, and although I can endure it, I know other cannot and bloggers lose readers over it.
    Check out Colleen’s awesome post.Inexpensive Family Friendly Summer Fun in the Tri Cities WashingtonMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Colleen,

      You’re right. Bloggers can lose readers due to the usage of profanity. For some, I’m sure it doesn’t bother them knowing readers will leave, whereas others may not realize it’s their use of profanity which is causing a low readership.

  28. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara — I found the comments very interesting about this subject. I enjoyed the diversity of opinion about swear words.

    I don’t usually swear in my writings. One of my biggest blogging fears, however, is that I will mistype the word “such”, adding a “k” at the end. I have caught this mistake several times in reviewing my posts — it gives me nightmares!

    If I’m really angry about something, I might use some swear words. Most of the time, the only living creatures to hear me, however, are my cat and dog as my “swearing” is often related to computer frustration and they both hang out in my office:~)

    I have heard rumors that they are planning a dabgummit intervention” related to this problem. Garshdurnit, I thought they were my friends:~)
    Check out Sara’s awesome post.About a Blogger: History is My StoryMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sara,

      I hear you. With it being so easy to make typos, if we’re not careful, we could easily publish a post with the wrong words in it.

      Oh no. An intervention. Might they be getting out that bar of soap? πŸ™‚

  29. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I grew up in landscaping and construction so I learned how to talk like a pirate early on πŸ™‚

    That said, I tend to measure against effectiveness, and I don’t think profanity would be effective for the information I share, unless it’s directly relevant. I think just like with comedy — it depends on the material and the delivery. I’ve seen some comics swear more and it just didn’t work, while for others, it was part of the rapport.

    At the end of the day, I think your language and style needs to blend with your tribe and the values … and has to be authentic for you.
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.3 Take Aways from The Karate KidMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      So, you know about how some of those in the construction and landscape professions talk. πŸ™‚

      You put that so eloquently; “I think your language and style needs to blend with your tribe and the values … and has to be authentic for you.” Amen.

  30. JoychristinNo Gravatar says:

    Oh brother…in life I can cuss, wel..l like a sailor…LOL–mmm because I *am* one…. sometimes I need a colorful something and a cuss word best describes it.
    However, I also have manners and know how to be most appropriate for the company I am with. On my blog, I do not cuss. In comments on other’s blogs I do not cuss. In inspirational speaking I do not cuss. I lead with my heart, and heart centered does not allow for possibly offending someone with my words. My readers and audience would definitely be offended and I’d probably lose most of them.
    If I am reading a blog and there is a cuss word and it fits the idea the author is trying to convey, I am not offended. If it was used in a mean or hateful way, I would not support the blog. If any word was used in a mean or hateful way I would not support the blog.
    Words can stay with a person forever. I want my words to convey healthy, whole pure Energy…so I am most careful with what I share….
    Check out Joychristin’s awesome post.Wednesday Wisdom: Reflections to my Inner ChildMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joy,

      That’s right. You are a sailor. πŸ™‚

      That’s so true. Our words can have a lasting affect on others, and with curse words, if there is anger behind them, some may carry those words with them for life. I like your idea of being careful with what we share with our words.

  31. WalterNo Gravatar says:

    Much as despicable profanities are, there are people who have a taste for it. If I encounter blog with profanities, I don’t shut myself on it. I would rather ignore the profane words and see if I can find any sense on it. πŸ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Walter,

      You’ve raised a good point. Some bloggers naturally write with curse words in their posts, so if we can ignore those words, we may read the post and realize it truly holds value.

      Great observation, Walter. πŸ™‚

  32. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I don’t use curse words in my writing, but I see it more and more in others’ writing. A few choice words here and there that add to the tone of the story are one thing, but frequent use of the “F” word is a major turn off. In my opinion, that doesn’t add anything to a story or conversation.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I know. Some people will throw in cuss words to try and create a shock factor (or whatever) and instead it only detracts from the story itself.

  33. Hi Barbara (and everyone!):

    Here’s my take on it: I can feel the energy behind the words. When I visit a site, that’s what hits me first. I’ve come across sites where the writer can cuss like a sailor but the energy is light. I’ve come across sites that use nary a curse word and the energy is just ugly, ugly, ugly. Those are the ones I won’t revisit.

    For me, it’s all about the energy of the words, not so much the words themselves. (And I know that’s probably NOT the case for most people.)

    Happy Friday!
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    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Isn’t that amazing how that works. Just by reading the words of the author, we can sense their energy. Like you, if I land on a site and the energy feels negative (or ugly), I’m gone.

  34. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    I work in an all male environment and in that environment, I do swear.
    On my blog… no, absolutely not.
    I’m sometimes tempted but remove the swear words when I edit or should I say when my wife edits. LOL

    What’s the saying?
    β€œI’m beyond being shocked – but I’m not beyond being offended.”

    If I do happen to find myself reading a post full of swear words… I move on.
    Check out Keith Davis’s awesome post.Laugh and the world…My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      LOL! I like that your wife edits out the cuss words. You do know, she’s a wise woman who is looking out for your best interests. πŸ™‚

      I like the quote you shared. That’s a new one to me. It’s very true.

  35. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I have been reading the comments with interest. I actually find offensive language just that – offensive. And I agree it has a lot to do with upbringing. My parents did not swear and taught me that it was an unpleasant habit that I shoud try to avoid. And I love your company philosophy of not swearing in front of clients, very good manners.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Check out Mandy Allen’s awesome post.When did you last feel goodMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Mandy,

      Yes. Upbringing can make a huge difference on how we feel about offensive language. If we didn’t hear it as youngsters, hearing it as adults can make us cringe.

  36. I’m only put off by profanity when it’s in excess. When I’m pissed like hell, there’s really no telling for how long my mouth will keep spilling them curse words. I’m gradually trying to check it though it’s difficult ’cause it’s as though I get frustrated easily πŸ™
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  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Udegbunam,

    I think for some that’s a natural reaction – to cuss when pushed to the limit. Although it can be hard to change how we react, being aware of what we’re saying is the first step.