Cussing Can Build Camaraderie

Last Updated Apr 30, 2008 2:23 PM EDT

soviet.JPGA new study claims that a foul mouth is the worst of workplace faux pas. According to the report, 36 percent of bosses have issued a formal warning and 6 percent have fired an employee for swearing. Employers may even dump their workers for off-hours profanity: The Washington Post recently fired a staffer for a foul-mouthed post he authored under a pseudonym on a popular NFL blog.

But on the other hand, a U.K. study last fall found that "social swearing" at work can actually inspire teamwork. And I can see the truth in that. As a longtime journalist, my brethren and I -- especially on deadline -- can sling language that would make George Carlin blush. But I always felt those off-color utterances did more to bond us that any rah-rah chatter could ever hope to do.

Give us your take on the use of wicked words at work.

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  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for and writes regularly for and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.