1. An Experiment of Banning Profanity

As some of you know – my Dad is into trading of diamonds. A diamond traders office is kind of like a stock brokers office. You get to hear a lot of profanity because of the stress that the deals bring with them.

So a couple of months back, my Dad made a rule in the office: anyone* who utters a profane word has to pay up Rs.100. The Rs.100 goes to charity.

*Anyone except my Dad. My Dad has to pay up Rs.500.

The result?

When you have to pay attention to a few of your words, you tend to pay attention to all of your words!

Brokers who come to the office now “think and talk”. Fewer arguments. More attentive folks. Better deals. Happy ending.

2. An Experiment of Using Profanity

Psychologists Cory Scherer and Brad Sagarin run an experiment. They gather a group of people and divide them into 2 groups. And make both the groups watch a 5 minute video of a persuasive speech.

For group A, the speaker uses a tame swear phrase “Damn it!” once during the speech. For group B, the speech is exactly the same, except the swear phrase is omitted.

Once the speech is over, participants are asked about their attitudes toward the topic addressed in the speech. The result? Folks in Group A rate the speaker as being more passionate than folks in Group B do. Folks in Group A also rate the video to be more persuasive overall than folks in Group B do!

Occassional obscenity persuades people!

3. So Should We Use Profanity Or Not?


So my verdict is…

Action Summary


May 23, 2009