Sunday, October 21, 2007

Are You Offended by the "F" Word?

Lee Falin just posted a blog entry that's sure to stir up some controversy. He's suggesting that we can communicate better with out the use of swear words and offensive language.

I agree and I support Lee's position 100 percent. For me, this is a no-brainer. I am forced to dig deeper and stretch my vocabulary if I avoid the easy road of cursing to get a reaction. The analogy I like to use is that eating fast food is very similar to cursing. The more often we consume fast foods, the faster our health will degrade. Our palate becomes numb to fresh, healthy foods and we desire the fatty, salty menus instead. We even find ways to defend eating fast foods: "I don't have time for healthy meals."

I make no excuses: I eat at fast food places often because I'm lazy about making lunches and I don't schedule time to take better care of my body. It's a constant battle for me to eat healthier because I've damaged my own palate from constant abuse of tacos, burgers, and fries. Now I'm paying for it with tight jeans and more frequent health issues.

Language is the same. We can choose to take shortcuts with offensive language or we can work a little harder and find a richer vocabulary to express our emotions. The more we swear as a writing technique, the less we'll work to find alternatives. Cursing numbs our brains and encourages greater sloth.

This is not why I'm writing this entry though. I'm more concerned about the first comment to Lee's post. Jonathan Wight says:

While I can kind of appreciate your motive, you really lost what little sympathy I had as soon as you dismissed the argument by referring to your “higher power”. Personally I find discussion of personal beliefs and opinions in technical blogs annoying and often (as in this case) offensive.

So the "faith" word is offensive in a tech blog? You can talk about your personal motivation for writing software or creating a micro-ISV as long as you don't bring religion into the blog? That's a disturbing stance.

The only thing that keeps me focused on creating better software is my faith. I would never have been able to leave my well-paid, salaried position and head out on my own without prayer and the support of my friends at my church. This is not truly a "technical" blog like the others Lee points out, but it is a blog about what motivates my development of Mac software and the goals of my venture.

We're in serious trouble if we offended by a quote from the Bible more than a blog peppered with f-bombs. I promise, you don't have to convert to my religion just because I talk about it any more than I would feel the need to switch to your brand of energy drink or style of music that fuels your development efforts.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to force myself to eat some fresh fruit.