DETONATION

Rated PG

Diesel Power - - Contents - By John Le­hen­bauer

LAN­GUAGE IS an im­por­tant part of ev­ery­day life. We use it to ex­press our thoughts, emo­tions, ideas, wants, and needs to each other. Hu­man­ity’s abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate has con­tin­ued to evolve through the cen­turies, with dif­fer­ent forms of lan­guage be­ing de­vel­oped based on needs and through in­no­va­tion. To­day, in­for­ma­tion gets con­veyed via tech­niques such as speak­ing, writ­ing, hand ges­tures, and sym­bol­ism.

It is gen­er­ally rec­og­nized that the best way to com­mu­ni­cate with oth­ers is in a civil, proper man­ner that doesn’t in­clude pro­fan­ity or in­sults. This is taught to us early on in school and at home. But life is not al­ways so cut and dry. Though we may be taught cor­rectly, we aren’t al­ways raised in worlds (neigh­bor­hoods, sur­round­ings, and such) that speak that way all the time. Many peo­ple grow up sur­rounded by very col­or­ful lan­guage, where im­proper fourlet­ter words and other not-so-ap­pro­pri­ate phrases (use your imag­i­na­tion) are part of al­most ev­ery con­ver­sa­tion, which, over time, be­comes imbed­ded in their sub­con­scious mind.

Th­ese words be­come in­cor­po­rated into ev­ery­day con­ver­sa­tion to the point that they are not even rec­og­nized as be­ing

“bad,” which makes us­ing the lan­guage so com­mon it be­comes hard to turn off. Ul­ti­mately, a very con­scious ef­fort is re­quired in or­der to carry on a con­ver­sa­tion.

Pro­fan­ity is nor­mally frowned upon in a pro­fes­sional work en­vi­ron­ment. Many peo­ple get very up­set when they hear some­thing they feel is vul­gar—even if it is not di­rected at them. Main­tain­ing a level of pro­fes­sion­al­ism re­quires us­ing proper lan­guage in the work­place, even though for some peo­ple that ef­fort may end as soon as the work­day is over.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I find my­self in the above sit­u­a­tion reg­u­larly. I have to be very con­scious of what I’m say­ing and to whom I’m say­ing it. Deal­ing with peo­ple in a pro­fes­sional man­ner in the of­fice, on the phone, or in the field re­quires me to make sure I am in the cor­rect mind­set to keep my­self from us­ing the wrong words in a con­ver­sa­tion. This is im­por­tant be­cause even though there may not be any in­tent to in­sult some­one, it is im­pos­si­ble to know if a per­son will take some­thing you say the wrong way. We are all in­di­vid­u­als and don’t al­ways see eye to eye on things, so speak­ing in a very pro­fes­sional man­ner is im­por­tant.

I know I’m not the only one who deals with this. There are oth­ers who work in sur­round­ings that re­quire a kin­der, gen­tler vo­cab­u­lary even though they may nor­mally have the “mouth of a sailor.” It’s just part of the mod­ern work en­vi­ron­ment and do­ing busi­ness.

I find my­self “be­ing good“most of the time. Work­ing in a pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment helps, but one con­ver­sa­tion can eas­ily throw it all off.

Watch­ing how we talk around kids can be re­ally tough. It is easy to be­come com­pla­cent and not re­al­ize what you are say­ing. Kids are sponges that take in ev­ery­thing adults say, so mak­ing sure they know the im­por­tance of speak­ing prop­erly is crit­i­cal. I make it a point to be on my best be­hav­ior around the young ones, and if they do hear less than ideal lan­guage, I ex­plain to them why they should not use it.

Heck, even ex­press­ing a thought in writ­ing, with­out us­ing four-let­ter pro­fan­ity, can some­times be chal­leng­ing.

New words are cre­ated and added to our vo­cab­u­lary con­stantly. Words that ini­tially en­ter our vo­cab­u­lary as slang some­times be­come com­monly used terms, and words we’ve used for ages can even­tu­ally take on dif­fer­ent mean­ings or are dropped from reg­u­lar use al­to­gether. There is a time and place to use all the words we’ve learned. But, for con­ver­sa­tions, mak­ing sure we use the most ap­pro­pri­ate lan­guage is the best way to com­mu­ni­cate.

The com­peti­tors of Diesel Power Chal­lenge are some of the most in­tel­li­gent, ta­lented, ded­i­cated, prob­lem-solv­ing in­di­vid­u­als we have ever met. But their com­mu­ni­ca­tions skills run the gamut from spicy to down­right racy at times. So, be care­ful when...

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