What is wrong with cursing online?

by Branko Santo

There is a term NSFW, often used online when communicating to mark inappropriate content behind the link. Now if you  want to be seen as someone who upholds wholesome values and behaves in a business like manner you will not curse in meetings, e-mails and especially not in the hallway of your office building.

So why do we see so many people hacking of their moral compass and just spewing stuff out of their mouths like this is desirable? Just a couple of days ago I read Crush it! and I feel for the guy. I really do think he is an honest, energetic, brash type of a guy. But that is who he is, and I like his attitude, he does overdo the cursing and talking but it is all part of his persona. But these days you get a feeling everybody thinks that this is cool to do. Just because someone can become a great success story because/in fact of being like this does not mean it will work for you. People used to sell out and wear suits and carry briefcases, are they now selling out and starting to curse all day long?

If you are a calm, collected, business minded individual who likes rules and the high class parties where you have a string quartet, please do enjoy it. Don’t go around looking fou yo peeps if you are an investment banker without a soul. There is space for every type of person in this great big world of ours and I am glad that some of them are like Gary.

So…

Why is there such an increase in use of curse words online? I had a bad day two weeks ago when I was trying to buy books for my Kindle and used the F word publicly. I shouldn’t have, but I did and it is there, I am just not going to change it. But you see unnecessary use of profanity all around and here are some of the overviews from around the web.

Scott Berkun did a small research via Google Labs Ngram viewer and it does look very funny.

Tom Hume did something similar with the Guardian API.

And I emulated Scott on Twitter Trendistic. (Even on only 180 days you can see a trend, but it might be influenced by switch from Summer to Autumn/Winter, see you in 6 months with the graph of the first half of 2011)

As a bonus TV has 69% more profanity.

The problem seems to be on both sides of the pond. So how do we go about it? If it is a one off and you were not planning to use it, I don’t mind. But with someone who just doesn’t care and is doing it for shock value is ignored from my side very very quickly. Are customers/follower/fans smart enough to see through the charade?