Zig Ziglar: “Remember, you will never rise above your words”

Who among us speaks or writes his or her thoughts with the intention to discourage the listener or reader from entertaining his or her thoughts?

There is the notion profanity underscores one’s authority. General George Patton, along with authors Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) believed this to be true.

Back in the 1980s, my Company, under contract to the Enron corporation, provided consulting services for a construction project in Puerto Rico. The regular Enron construction employees worked all over the world; none knew the Spanish language spoken by the Puerto Rican workers and the Puerto Rican workers knew very little English. The Enron people mistakenly believed speaking very slowly, punctuating their speech with profanity, effectively communicated their expectations to the non-English-speaking Puerto Ricans. Well, not exactly.

Why were the Enron people ineffective in the supervision of Puerto Rican employees?

Puerto Ricans are overwhelmingly Christian. A majority (56%) of Puerto Ricans living on the island identified as Catholic in a 2014 Pew Research Center survey of religion in Latin America. And 33% identified as Protestants, among whom roughly half (48%) also identified as born-again Christians.

Profanity is welcome in the company of profane people but offends Christians and Muslims, alike.

Use of profanity is not relegated to the unintelligent or the uneducated. The use of profane language is not a matter of intelligence but a matter of wisdom.

Question—Is it wise to offend people whom you wish to influence?

In 2018, Rodger Dean Duncan, writing for Forbes magazine, interviewed Timothy R. Clark on the matter of potential leaders making themselves worthy of followers.

Profanity snuffs out psychological safety. It’s arrogant. It’s bravado, and it can be threatening and intimidating to others. If people have a right to work in an environment free of shaming, harassing, and bullying behavior—well, you very quickly come to the conclusion that profanity is not your friend. It doesn’t make the cut. Plus, the English language is beautiful. Learn to harness its power!

Timothy R. Clark, author of Leading With Character & Competence

What is profanity?

What are profane words? Because words have meanings, definitions are helpful.

The word profane derives from Latin profānus, literally, before (outside of ) the temple. Either as a verb or adjective, the meaning of this word: characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious; not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated;
secular (opposed to sacred); unholy; heathen; pagan; not initiated into religious rites or mysteries, as persons; common or vulgar; to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile;
debase; employ basely or unworthily; to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt;
violate the sanctity of.

Profanity is the parlance of the fool. Why curse when there is such a magnificent language with which to discourse?

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) | 26th president of the United States, writer, naturalist, and soldier

Amazing Facts About The Magnificent English Language

According to Merriam-Webster, there are roughly one million (1 X 106) words in the vocabulary of English. Learn more fascinating facts on the history of the English dictionary from Pilinut Press, Inc.

  • Nouns | There are ten types of nouns and the major ones are common nouns, proper nouns, abstract nouns, and collective nouns. Approximately half of all words in the English vocabulary are nouns.
  • Verbs | We have to our use regular verbs, irregular verbs, action verbs, helping verbs, and linking verbs.
  • Adjectives | The English language features these amazing words that describe nouns. The most common types of adjectives are possessive, demonstrative, descriptive, proper, interrogative, predicate, indefinite, quantitative, coordinative, compound, and article.
  • Adverbs | Adverbs describe verbs as adjectives describe nouns. The most common types of adverbs are those of degree, frequency, manner, place, and time. They describe when, how, where, and why an action occurs. Adverbs are sometimes used to intensify an action, or they may describe the circumstances in which an action takes place [Thesaurus.com].

God has the last word [and the first]

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is recognized and judged by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man, from his [inner] good treasure, brings out good things; and the evil man, from his [inner] evil treasure, brings out evil things. ~ Matthew 12:33-35 AMP

Every person you encounter seeks answers and encouragement. There is power in the tongue. In fact, death and life are in the power of your tongue. Will you choose to speak life to someone today?

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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