Part Two of The Current
Swearing in the Workplace - Cory Scherer
Rhett Butler may not have a damn to give, but the Hollywood Production Code Commission sure did. In 1939, it fined film producer David Selznick $5,000 for allowing profanity in his civil war epic.
Since then, a lot of social mores have gone with the wind. It's hard to imagine a time when the D-word was even considered profane. Rhett would have to go a few letters down the alphabet to find a word to get noticed today.
Last month, the CEO of Yahoo may have found it. Rumours swirled that Carol Bartz was fired, in part, for her salty language. Yahoo denies Bartz's profanity had anything to do with her demise, but it hasn't stopped the business world from focusing on who can say what, when and whether swearing can hurt or even help a career.
Our next guest believes there are times when properly placed profanity can be powerful and persuasive. Cory Scherer is a professor of psychology at Penn State University, Schuylkill campus, and we reached him in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania.
Swearing in the Workplace - Deborah Tannen
While it might be more freaking persuasive to throw in a fracking swear word or two, our next guest says it also makes a significant difference if the word comes out of the mouth of a man, or a woman.
Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, is the author of You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. Deborah Tannen joined us from Washington.
Swearing in the Workplace
You don't have to be a longshoreman any more to swear like one. Cussing is practically commonplace in parliaments and Congress. And speaking of congress, there remains one word that's still so powerful, so penetrating it still makes many of our listeners uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it's become one of the most commonly used words in social intercourse.
Other segments from today's show: