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Foul-Mouthed Fury on Rise from MO to D.C.

Social scientists say that cursing can be traced back centuries and offers an immediate form of expression, albeit with potential consequences. (Ashish Choudhary/Pixabay)
Social scientists say that cursing can be traced back centuries and offers an immediate form of expression, albeit with potential consequences. (Ashish Choudhary/Pixabay)
July 31, 2017

COLUMBIA, Mo. – An explicit tirade from new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is the latest evidence of what protocol experts say has become increasingly common – cursing as a form of public communication.

Many people, including a fired University of Missouri professor who lashed out at police and President Donald Trump rallying supporters, resort to cursing to make their points.

Diane Gottsman, author of “Modern Etiquette for a Better Life,” says how people express themselves behind closed doors is one thing, but cussing in public isn't professional.

"I don't want to hear the profanity,” she stresses. “I think that we all have our own personal judgments. We need to make our decisions based on good judgment, responsible thinking, and weighing both sides of the story."

Gottsman says it'd be naive to think cursing won't continue to happen, but it's important in the workplace and public settings for people to focus on strengthening their ability to control their emotions and think intelligently.

Scaramucci has tweeted that he "sometimes uses colorful language, and will refrain in this arena."

Research on what cursing says about an individual's intellect or trustworthiness is inconclusive.

A 2017 study demonstrated a correlation between cursing and honesty, but other research has found those who cuss regularly are more narcissistic and less conscientious.

Gottsman maintains the current political climate contributes to the spike in public use of vulgarities, but says that's no reason to talk like Scaramucci.

"It's my politics to not talk politics, not to take one side or the other, but I think that it certainly paints a picture," she states.

Gottsman adds that cursing doesn't make anyone a bad person – it's simply not advisable when there are plenty of other ways to indicate anger, surprise or frustration.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - MO