Taboo Words

Finding balance in the workplace

Camryn Mottl, Staff Writer

While I sit in the lunchroom, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t hear a curse word go flying across the room. On a regular basis I hear a curse zip right by me to another person, and I can’t help but wonder if that could’ve been said after school, or if that needed to be said at all. Students need to learn the time and the place to use curse words.

Also known as taboo words, psychologists, such as Timothy Jay, believe that taboos can actually be a benefit to ones emotional state, giving them more power and control over the situation. Even I have let a couple taboos slip out when I feel the pain of hitting my elbow on the corner of the counter.

Yet, I disagree with him saying it’s actually beneficial to swear overall. There is a time and place to say words and phrases, and students going in and out of MN need to start thinking and acting professional, or more like adults. While it is true that adults do let out some swear words, it doesn’t make that person seem intelligent. Both students and adults need to adapt to saying what they need to say without having to curse.

So how does one know when it is a good time to swear? It is by knowing the environment one is in. Chris Fields concurs with this declaration through his article, “Cussing at Work: F— Yeah or Hell No?” He states that his boss overheard him cursing with his coworkers while working out, and received a complaint from it. Here at MN, teachers hear what students say to friends, even when one thinks they don’t.

With knowing the environment, they can identify when it acceptable to use curse words to those who won’t take it so offensively, both the people who one talks to, and the peers who may be listening around them. In the school hallways and lunchrooms, students and teachers can hear when one swears, especially when shouted across the hallway. Even as a relaxed and social environment, MN hallways and lunchrooms are still considered “work-spaces,” and students need to be aware of the people around them in both areas.

Also, one can be sure to get the emotions out before going into an environment that may not tolerate swearing. In the process they can still stay polished inside classrooms and other business-like environments, while still gaining emphasis of the humorous stories told thereafter, in places outside MN school domain, such as a hangout.

Through all of this, students need to learn the balance. Knowing the people listening, those they can and cannot see, along with realizing the environment, will help students find their way to keeping a professional equilibrium when it is required, and a friendly composure afterwards.