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Profanity

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What's the deal with using profanity in your course lectures? I tend to swear quite a lot in real life, not for everyone I know. In writing these lectures though I've found that adding in the odd swear word now and again adds a bit of levity and more of a human component than if left completely clean.

I've beeped out the offending words, but most people will know what it is that I've said. Is this a big no-no? Or would it be just fine?

Any advice welcome.

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Re: Profanity

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It's not worth the negative reviews you'll get from the few people you offend.

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Personally? I have no problem with profanity.  I can swear with the best of them. But, I would suggest you keep things professional. 

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It's not worth the negative reviews you'll get from the few people you offend.

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Yeah, I thought as much. Shame really, it's too easy to offend people these days. I'd only thrown a couple in so far, and bleeped them anyway. But I think you're right. Already I have two parts of my life that are under constant public review, and it gets tiring reading negativity, often where none was warranted. I don't really want to add a third.

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Hi @StrayCodeMonkey ,

 

If your primary goal is to add more of a human component, then there are much more powerful things for that than profanity.  Humour.  Elegant real-life examples.  Jokes.  Some beautiful language here and there, with words and phrases rarely used in technical documentation.  

 

That would make an otherwise technical and clean (yes, a bit boring) text to be way, way more human.

 

It takes time to make the lectures more interesting, but it's well worth the effort. If done right, there will be no reason to use profanity.

 

Cheers,

 

With kind regards,

Vlad.

 

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Its a risk/reward issue perhaps.

Bearing in mind, that  Udemy is global.

Profanity may well be culturally taboo in some parts of the world.

Given the importance placed on Reviews, and the downsides of negative feedback,  why risk your investment?  If I may add - this is just a personal view. All the Best. Mahomed and Hawa

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I swear every ****ing day, but some students may find it offensive and there is no reason to get people offside. In a professional context, I think you do have to keep it clean. Your students will be from very diverse backgrounds on a platform this big.

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it's just about fashion. today, we watch Hollywood movies with ppl unnecessarily swearing every 5 words. and we don't give crap...

 

tomorrow we'll watch Udemy courses in a similar way. We just need someone to "inspire" us. You have the right nickname, please take the lead Smiley Wink

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Yeah, I wouldn't swear much in polite company, just at rare but appropriate moments to reinforce a point or sentiment.

 

I think what many others have said though is probably right, our public world is too pc these days to be worth inviting the inevitable complaints. Life is tedious enough as it is at times. So better for me to save my sh#t for my private life, and throw in some gags instead. 

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I swear occasionally in my lectures, and haven't had too many issues as long as you follow 2 rules:

 

1) Do it sparingly, and only for effect. If you do it constantly, you end up sounding uneducated or unprofessional. The occasional slip on the other hand can be humanizing and "charismatic".

 

2) Bleep the word. No one wants to hear the actual word, and if you bleep it they'll still know what you said. The bleep staves off the people who might be offended by it and it occasionally adds a comedic effect (if you don't believe me, try bleeping random words in your lectures - it's hilarious)

 

My two cents.

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@StrayCodeMonkey wrote:

What's the deal with using profanity in your course lectures? I tend to swear quite a lot in real life, not for everyone I know. In writing these lectures though I've found that adding in the odd swear word now and again adds a bit of levity and more of a human component than if left completely clean.

I've beeped out the offending words, but most people will know what it is that I've said. Is this a big no-no? Or would it be just fine?

Any advice welcome.


 

I think there is a consensus that using profanities causes more antagonism than Joy on most listeners/readers. But while others views are important the real issue is about YOU. Why do YOU use profanities? Because it is the In thing? Because you want to feel accepted?  Because you have some negative emotions within like anger or pain or fear? Personally I'd say give it a wide. Believe me you can easily break the habit. And when you do you will find a huge cache of clean meaningful and joyful vocabulary waiting for you.

PS I would love calling you by name but feel uneasy calling you by your code name ". .... monkey". Just joking. Best wishes. 

 

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I don't think it matters why I use profanity in my private life. But probably just culture, and perhaps a poor upbringing. Definitely not because it is the in thing, which I'm not even sure is a thing. Nor anger, nor pain nor fear. I have no compulsion to embed it the lectures I'm writing, it makes no difference to me whether I swear or not in that arena, I just wanted to know if it was an option, and it seems not, not if I want a quiet life, which I do. And as for vocabulary, of course there are thousands of grandiloquent words one could draw upon, which I also do. But sometimes, throwing a well-placed expletive into a sentence is exactly the right thing at the right moment. Expletives are known to elicit a certain response, a response that no amount of clean words could, simply because they're clean. And if your lectures contain tens of thousands of words, but just 3 or 4 of them dirty, then their effect is amplified all the more. It's just not everyone agrees, because language, interpretation and meaning, is just so personal. One man's impact, is another man's bad taste.

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Long ago, giving public talks, I learned that it is not worth offending even one member of the audience. It is just not worth the backlash. Also, swearing is a cultural behavior and we are speaking to a global audience representing every possibe culture. I think we should respect other cultures. Not worth it.

 

Lawrence M. Miller
Management & Leadership Coach
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