What’s your opinion on profanity?

For me, language is a tool for communication. All of it can be useful, if used properly. Some people are gifted at it, and some not so.

I used to work with a friend of my Dad’s. They both were HVAC mechanics. He started out as Dad’s apprentice. He was about 6’-6" and 300 lbs; more muscle than fat. He usually never cussed, being a good Christian. He was a gentle giant of a man, until he encountered a piece of equipment that was being stubborn, like a squirrel cage fan corroded to it’s shaft, so it was almost impossible to remove it. Then, it was like he transformed. He’d go get a bigger hammer, wail away at it, and lay a cussing on that part like you wouldn’t believe. Man, the cuss words would fly. It was also like he morphed into the Incredible Hulk. Once he started he wouldn’t stop until the part yielded or broke. Then, he’d wipe off the sweat, and he’d be his regular self. Those of us that knew this about him swore it was his superpower.

He passed away about a week ago. He’ll join Dad and they’ll be fixing stuff together again, because that’s just who they were. As a young boy and teenager I knew there was nothing these two could not fix.

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I don’t like profanity. It achieves nothing, yet, having said that, I can understand your dad’s big friend. In fact, I’m a little like him, not 6’-6" or 300 lbs and not particularly gentle, definitely not a good Christian, but I’m inclined to cuss when things go wrong…little things, like forgetting the bread in the toaster and finding it burnt to a cinder, or not being able to open a milk carton where one part is glued to another and by the time it’s open, the whole thing is a gory mess. I invariably feel guilty about it and am glad that no one else was around to hear my tirade, but no matter how often I promise to myself I won’t do it again, the very next time something goes wrong, I’m right back at it.

Some writers can use profanity to their advantage, sort of emphasizing the point they are making. Many use it for no apparent reason, particularly on some forums (not this one) and I’m not sure why they do that as it usually takes away from the message they are trying to send.

So I guess profanity is all right upon occasion, but it should not be typical of one’s conversation; in that way it may be regarded as emphasis of a point rather than just plain gutter talk.


I am not offended by it, but lots of other people are. What sort of impression do you want to make?


I have just noticed that your software edits out foul language. I did not think the word I was using was all that foul, but apparently…

Yes, I’m pretty sure we programmed it to edit most variations (using wildcards) of George Carlin’s “7 words you can’t say on tv”. Neat, huh?

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7 words:
■■■■■ ■■■■■ ■■■■■ ■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■

That’s pretty neat. It hides it from the reader, but the original words are still visible when I go back to edit. I can get the satisfaction of cursing without ■■■■■■■ anyone off.


Wouldn’t be an engineering site if we didn’t have engineers testing the functionality of the filter…

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Profanity is OK but most of it is unnecessary, to me. I usually don’t use profanity so when I do, it is to get someone’s attention about my seriousness and that has always worked.

To me, many don’t pay attention to those around them before they let their vulgar language loose. There is no consideration for women and children any longer or men who don’t find profanity particularly good expressions of ideas, emotions, etc.

I think profanity should be the exception not the rule. The dictionary is full of great words.