When I read a blog I respect and I come across the F word, or a derivation of the F word, I wince.
It happened again yesterday when I was reading the blog of a colleague, another PR expert who I like and respect and whose work I admire. Was it my imagination, or is this particular blogger in love with the F word?
Just for the heck of it, I went to the blogger’s search box and typed in the F word to see what came up. The search delivered 19 posts, some in which the word was used in a direct quote and others in which it wasn’t.
The F word and other obscenities are popping up more and more in blogs that otherwise smart entrepreneurs write to promote their businesses and attract corporate clients.
I’ll bet many of these same bloggers would never dream of using four-letter words in the executive suite when they’re presenting a proposal or doing work for a client. Or during media interviews.
Bloggers, it seems, are creating a double standard for obscenities. It’s OK to use the F word in business blogs but not in business conversations.
Then there’s the whole blogging ethics debate.
What about bloggers like me who allow comments on their blogs but have the ability to censor or edit the comments before they appear? Is it ethical for a blogger to remove the F word from an otherwise acceptable comment if they don’t want to offend their readers?
Good writing doesn’t rely on the F word. It’s one of those lazy words that sloppy writers, speakers and punks armed with cans of spray paint fall back on when they can’t think of a better word or phrase to explain their anger or frustration.
The ubiquitous friggin’ and freakin’ aren’t much better.
Do what you want in private. But in the business world, the F word is inappropriate, unless you’re doing business with Tony Soprano.