Re: The Proper Use of Profanity

by The Inmate

Eloquence, smooth and cutting, is like a razor whetted with oil.

—Jonathan Swift

Inmates know the Biblical commandment not to use the Lord’s name in vain.  This is good advice for all words, particularly those words defined as profanity.  When used incorrectly profanity becomes a meaningless, hollow noise, but used properly it is a substantial weapon in the war against corporate culture.  Its legitimate use is a sacred art.

Unfortunately, many inmates are misusing profanity or not using it at all.   Either case destroys an extremely important part of an employee’s armor.  Cuss words are beneficial both as defensive and offensive maneuvers and should be used as such.

To those inmates who never use profanity I would like to make a plea: consider it.  Imagine, and this is a dream of mine, an employee who has never been heard to utter such a word during their entire employment.  Let us pretend that it is a long employment of ten or more years and this employee, well-respected and well-liked is sitting in a mandatory meeting.  At some point in this meeting a manager utters something stupid.  This, I know, is not difficult to imagine because the frequency of such events is exponential to the frequency of meetings.  But let us suppose our imaginary employee raises his or her hand and when called upon simply says, calmly, matter-of-factly, “That’s bullshit.”

The other problem with coarse words is their overuse.  Hence employees who cannot speak without them when they attempt to make a point with them are ignored–and rightly so.  These words should be used sparingly.  They should be savored, aged like good wine.  Store them away in the cellar and only open them at the proper time.  If allowed to fully age their effectiveness will be worthy of a long, glorious toast.

Two years ago my supervisor insisted that I wear my handheld computer on my right side.  I prefer the left.  Then he insisted that instead of using my middle finger(something I could have very easily used under the circumstances) to push the button to operate it I should use my thumb.  I stared at him in complete and utter astonishment.  Literally, I said to him, “You’ve got to be kidding.”  He was not.  I am a nice man.  I come to work everyday, I do my job and I just want to go home.  Ironically, if I had been allowed to do that the past thirteen years I would not have become The Inmate.  Such is fate.  My supervisor continued to be adamant that I perform these tasks his way.  What kind of management would you call this?  Milli-management?  Nano-management?  It was time to go to the cellar.  I pulled out half a dozen words and phrases, some that had been aging for years.  When I uncorked them my boss knew, without a doubt, that I was angry.  Let me assure you I used the best ones and used them in a barrage of sentences the like I have never used before or since.  After they had fermented in his brain for a day, he relented.  It’s not a typo.

How long should you age profanity?  Here are some guidelines, but remember, these are only guidelines.  You must use your judgment and good sense to know when exceptions should be made because some floors in the Asylum might actually require the daily use of many of these words.

For words not considered curse words, such as “stupid,” “idiotic,” “ridiculous,” “dumb,” “absurd” or “insane,” we recommend a two to three month aging period for each word.  You could conceivably and necessarily use one every two to three weeks.

With words that pertain to feces or to the anatomy from which excrement leaves the body, proper potency is usually reached after six months.

A four letter word that makes reference to sexual intercourse requires very careful aging and opinions vary.  Our recommendation is no less than a year.

The name of God demands the most delicate of aging processes.  A minimum of two years is suggested.  However, please remember that Jesus turned water into wine so it is possible that a much shorter period will suffice.  Listen carefully.  God will let you know.  Certainly there is much in the corporate world that God would be perfectly willing to condemn.  If you are not adept in the proper use of profanity I suggest you save God’s name or his Son’s until you have practiced at least five years of successful, justifiable cursing.


The Corporate Asylum is currently selling fully aged profanity.  For those on a budget we offer common four-letter words at a very affordable price.   For those with eclectic tastes our line of foreign profanity is extensive and  translations are provided at no extra charge.  Profane phrases are also available, some of these have not been used since the great labor/ management conflicts of the 19th century.  Price inquiries are welcomed.

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