How many more careers will go down the dumper because of the use of profanity, in the wrong place, at the wrong time? Think hot mics. Think job interviews sliding into too much informality, then the interviewer has second thoughts about the foul-mouthed genius, and there's no hire. Think Millennials all too comfortable with industrial-strength curse words, driving off angel investors, e.g. the family dentist.
Well, all this might become ancient history. Americans' love of the formal, restrained, profanity-free ethos of "Downton Abbey" could be the tipping point for ending the too long shelf life of four-letter words in our culture.
In an hour meeting with a Baby Boomer politico about possibly ghosting a book for him, he let the F-bomb slip. Instead of becoming flustered he seemed quite pleased with his comfort level. Look at me, I'm cool, he seemed to be thinking. Yeah, public profanity has been penetrated the Machiavellian corridors of power.
Students of culture know that everything changes. There was the uptight Victorian era. Then there were the flappers. There was the Eisenhower sweetness and light stranglehold following World War II. Then there was the Counterculture. After that we all suited up, marched off to Corporate America to become middle managers. Now, it's the disruption of the entrepreneurs.
So, restraint in rhetoric is probably overdue. Soon we could be reaching back in time to expressions such as "Fiddlesticks" and "Cheese and Crackers." That will be refreshing. The wonderful side effect will be more care in how we treat one another, especially those who sign our pay checks, whether we are employees or vendors.
No one will have to be cool, not for decades.