Language: A Reflection of Attitude and Professionalism | Teen Ink

Language: A Reflection of Attitude and Professionalism

May 23, 2019
By molllyd78 BRONZE, Sparks, Nevada
molllyd78 BRONZE, Sparks, Nevada
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In today’s society, it is normal to hear explicit language being used among children and young adults. It is even the norm to cuss in some professional settings. For example, it is not uncommon for respected professors, bosses, and writers to swear. As shocking as it is, I even see elementary school students using crude and inappropriate language. This increase in acceptance of profanity has developed in only a couple generations. Why the change? And, an even better question is, why do we think it is okay? Using foul language, although it may be seen as “cool”, is only a poor reflection on one’s character and maturity.

Cussing creates a bad first impression: A pair of researchers from Southern Connecticut State University asked 138 students how they felt about people who used expletives. Their study definitively concluded, “Speakers using profanity had poorer impression ratings on several variables, including overall impression, intelligence, and trustworthiness” (Mailonline). Although someone who swears may be intelligent, the language they use makes people think that they are not. In order to ensure that those you speak to leave with a good first impression of you, it is best to use clean and inclusive language.

You never know who you might offend: Many people, due to religions or just plain personal preference, are uncomfortable with swearing. Although it is not your job to please everyone, it is still a good idea to be sensitive to peers, coworkers, and other people you associate with. A study from the university of Arizona showed that “women coping with breast cancer or rheumatoid arthritis. . . received less support from loved ones”  when they used profanity. A lot of people don’t realize how profound an impact words can have, but they really can shape the way a person views you and treats you. So make sure that they are treating you with respect by using clean language.

Swearing triggers negative emotions: Although many claim that cursing helps them “blow off steam” and calm down; however, excessive swearing can actually increase feelings of anger and annoyance in ourselves and others. Professor Jeffrey Bowers and Dr. Christopher Pleydell-Pearce, both of the University of Bristol's School of Experimental Psychology, discovered that using profanity is more stressful than not using it, neurologically speaking. Might as well just avoid this stress and other negative emotions by using appropriate and uplifting language!

As you can see, there really is no need to swear; in fact, it only does harm. If you are worried about not being able to avoid using expletives, there are plenty of less offensive substitutions. When you need to exclaim something, don’t be afraid to let out a “dang it” or a “shoot”. This is more sensitive to those around you and is less stressful to say. In order to make sure that you create and maintain the best relationships with others and protect your own emotions, its best to keep your swearing to a minimum. Remember, how you talk has more influence than you think.

Works Cited

Mailonline, Joe Pinkstone For. “Why You Should Mind Your Language: People Who Swear Are Seen as Dishonest and Less Intelligent.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 4 Apr. 2018.

Harel, Monica Corcoran. “What the &%$@?” ELLE, ELLE, 9 Oct. 2017.

The author's comments:

I am a sophomore in high school who is passionate about serving others and making them happy. I believe that using uplifting language is one of the best ways to inspire others and leave a positive impression on them.

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