It came up during a wrongful termination suit brought against Knicks coach Isiah Thomas and Madison Square Garden, which owns the team. Anucha Browne Sanders, a former marketing executive, was fired after she complained about being called "bitch" and "fucking ho" by the coach. Thomas did some nifty tap dancing in his testimony. "I've never cursed at Anucha,” he said. "I've cursed around Anucha." Er, OK. But where do you draw the line on the cursing front? Almost everyone agrees that occasional swearing is acceptable - office cursing has become so routine that pollsters don't even ask about it anymore. From NY magazine:
Workplace profanity is everywhere, starting with our elected leaders, like Eliot (“I’m a fucking steamroller!”) Spitzer and Dick (“Go fuck yourself!”) Cheney, and continuing to our unelected moral arbiters, like Golden Globe–winning Bono (“fucking brilliant”). In Fresno, California, former deputy mayor Roger Montero resigned in April after admitting that he used “coarse language” on the job but denying that his language constituted sexual harassment. And a Virginia dentist, Steven Afsahi, was fined $9,000 in 2004 by that state’s Board of Dentistry in part for using profanity in front of patients. Timothy Jay, professor of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and author of "Why We Curse" and "Cursing in America," suggests that asking us to stifle swearing is not only unreasonable but also a violation of our basic rights.