Contagion

Posted on | January 23, 2012 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’ve noticed that, on certain occasions, a female colleague I respect starts using “effing” every other word when she’s talking about work. I made a polite remark about it once and she misunderstood me — she thought I was agreeing with her about something. I’m no prude, and can swear like a sailor, but the constant use of this unnecessary descriptor makes her seem coarse (which she isn’t) and, quite frankly, becomes irritating. It’s sort of like listening to someone say “like” 20 times in 2 minutes.

Make it stop

Dear Stop:
We are perpetually amazed by our culture’s diverse response to cussing.  Some people think it’s blasphemy, and some think it is colorful — and it’s hard to tell who will be offended. We are, frankly, agnostic on this matter –but shamelessly susceptible to those around us.  If someone is “talkin’ trash”– before we know it, WE ARE TOO!  On that basis, we are sympathetic to your friend who probably doesn’t have any idea how “repetitive” her speech has become but we urge you to use a light touch in correcting her.

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