Issue #76

Is cussing on your blog (or email) bad?

I got an interesting email last week from a reader. She was nice as could be, but she basically told me that I’d have a bigger audience if I didn’t use foul language sometimes.

She said I used the word “bulls**t”. It’s certainly possible. I don’t know where I did, but I know it is something I’ve probably done.

But, is it inherently bad?

I’m not talking about socially or anything. But, is it bad to do that in your blog or emails? Here’s my view…

Truth is, everybody is different.

Personally, I’m no stranger to cuss words. While I don’t cuss like a sailor, I do use such language in my normal life sometimes. It doesn’t bother me. It never has. And, to my knowledge, it doesn’t bother anybody around me. In fact, they do the same.

I’m also not insensitive, tho. If I know a person around me is really bothered by such things, I curb it. If I’m in a setting which it would be inappropriate, I do not use such language. Hell, I communicate for a LIVING so, unlike some comedians who can’t be funny without dropping f-bombs, I’m perfectly capable of communicating well without foul language.

But, let’s talk about our blogs. Our emails.

Is the use of any foul language at all automatically bad?

As I said at the start, everybody’s different.

Some – I would say MOST – really don’t care. In fact, most probably see it as more authentic, more… real.

And honestly, it is. I write on my blog like I talk. I am what I am. I write in a conversational way. That’s me.

I do know, though, that some people may find it annoying. Even offensive. The lady who emailed me about it works for a Baptist church, judging from her profile. So, I get it. I respect that.

What’s right?

For me personally, I lean toward authenticity.

People will do business with people they know, like and trust. If people are going to make that decision about me, I’d rather them make it based on who I actually am.

It also goes the other way, too. Who do I want to most do business with? I like working with motivated people who don’t take themselves too seriously. I want to work with people who I will more easily “click” with.

I think this takes care of itself the more natural and authentic I am online. If people don’t like my style, they can go elsewhere. I’m cool with that.

See, this lady who emailed me said if I didn’t use such language, I’d appeal to a broader market. What she doesn’t understand is that I’m not TRYING to appeal to a broader market! I want the right people… the people I want to work with. “The more the better” isn’t how I run my business.

As to the language, I don’t believe I go overboard. I do it like I talk. I do it, sometimes, for emphasis. I have no desire to come off as a corporate snob with no personality. 🙂

Is that bad?

I don’t think so.

I know overboard when I see it. When you watch a comedian and he can’t be funny without injecting 3 f-bombs into a 7-word sentence… well…. we all know overboard when we see it.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

– David

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