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July 31, 2017MARYVILLE, Mo. |  By: Nienow

Author writes about vulgar language used in public

The new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci's explicit tirade about his co-workers is seen as the latest example of an increasing use of vulgarities in public life.

Perhaps people should have seen this coming when MSNBC anchorman Brian Williams was forced to apologize after a voter used foul language during live coverage of the 2016 Iowa caucus. Etiquette experts point to a rash of examples, including those from President Trump.

Diane Gottsman, who advises businesses on etiquette and protocol, says it's clear there's been a spike in "cussing" in public life, but that doesn't make it acceptable. Gottsman, the author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, says it would be naive to think cursing won't continue to happen, but it's important, especially in the workplace and public settings, for people to focus on strengthening their ability to control their emotions and think intelligently.

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 curse regularly are more narcissistic and less conscientious. Gottsman believes the current political climate contributes to the spike in the public use of vulgarities, but says that's no reason to go along with it.

Gottsman says Scaramucci's rant definitely painted a picture. She observes, however, that saying a curse word doesn't make you a bad person – it's simply not advisable when there are plenty of other ways to indicate anger, surprise or frustration.