Goldman Sachs Bans Swearing in Emails

Goldman Sachs (GS) is banning swearing in employee emails. The message has been spread around the firm verbally rather than in writing, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper writes: "In the spirit of the times, there is no written directive specifying which curses now are officially cursed. But screening tools being used by the firm would detect common swear words and acronyms."

Morgan Stanley (MS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) already have similar rules. At CME Group (CME) workers can be fined for profanity. The Journal also writes that such policies have become more widespread. Bloomberg has screened email for a decade and looks for about 70 offensive words -- in more than one language.

It's not entirely clear why the bans are in place. Email with profanity is unlikely to be the cause of legal proceedings (except for sexual harassment cases), while emails mentioning questionable trades and actions that could violate federal or state laws obviously can be. Goldman Sachs and a number of other firms found this out the hard way.

It's impossible to bar verbal swearing, so perhaps Goldman employees will have to stop by each other's offices to express their real feelings, while remembering to close the door.

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Banning swearing is the benchmark of a professionally run corporation and
is a wise decision. Respect begets respect, and there are other healthier
options for venting frustration then the use of profanity.

August 04 2010 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They really need to publish a list of words they consider swearing or a few might slip buy and someone will get fired. Is damn not good but darn ok??

July 30 2010 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know when you think about it, this is a very sad article. What this article is saying is that our society has degraded so much that what should be the most obvious and common sense thing in business, now has to be made a rule and regulated. ANYONE, I mean ANYONE with HALF a brain working in the professional world at all should KNOW, without a second thought how inappropriate ANY swearing of ANY sort, at ANY time, to ANY one, in ANY place should be. It's just NEVER done. But yet, our society has lost all understanding of any behavior remotely considered etiquette or manners or just proper acceptable social behaviors. It's nothing at all to be walking around a group of 8 year old children and hear the infamous "F" word spouted two and three times a sentence. As long as about 7 years ago I had a teenager ranting off profanity outside of my business and when I went outside to confront them I said to this obnoxious teenager, "does your mother allow you to talk like that at home?" He yelled back, yea, she taught it to me. Observing how the kid was dressed and how he acted, I didn't doubt that at all. There is no place you can go in society today where you're safe from being bombarded with all sorts of foul disgusting language. It makes you sick. And yet, if a person says anything, they're the ones who are considered weird or stupid. Personally, I can't even stand to hear the word suck all the time. I've been trying to figure out why is this world everything has to "suck". It's so much like the "F" word I just don't like it. The sad is that everyone hears things so much no one thinks there is anything wrong with language like this anymore. Now kids do it to appear grown up. What they don't know is that there's "grown up" about this at all. I've never understood why adults swear all the time. It's completely possible to express ALL your emotions and feelings with any emphasis on how angry, or excited or any other way you're feeling WITHOUT swearing. Part of the problem is that movies and television only make this problem worse, ESPECIALLY movies. Every other word in movies is inappropriate. I guess it's going to get to the point in our society where the most very basic of common decent behavior is going to need to be taught by schools and businesses because obviously parents aren't doing it. Most of the time kids are learning this from their parents. People need to starting standing up and just not allowing this behavior to go on. Just like we had to put a stop to second hand smoke, I guess the next step is second hand swearing. Decent, Christian, well-mannered, CIVILIZED, people shouldn't have to put up with this garbage ANY place they are and it's time to fight back. And if you're someone who does swear, or who tolerates, from ANYONE, SHAME ON YOU! Grow up! All swearing does is make you look cheap, low-class, and even sometimes a bully.

July 29 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pdgrovebaskets's comment

Bite me! You have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on your hands, you idiot!

July 30 2010 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is it OK for a customer to swear at these people? I often feel like doing so. These banks get bailed out and then take out their frustrations on consumers.

July 29 2010 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


July 29 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I, for one, like the rule. I hate swearing in the work place and think it's offensive if employees are forced to read or listen to it on a regular basis. In my opinion, there is absolutely no need to swear. If you can't get your point across without being civil then you shouldn't be in a professional work environment anyway.

July 29 2010 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Amanda's comment

Amanda get a backbone, No swearing might hurt your ears, i'm sure if we checked into your Background we would find more then just swearing to get you OFF your Soapbox

July 29 2010 at 2:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I believe the "Big Banks" immorality runs a lot deeper than profane language .... (if you don't know the history of the French Revolution, I advise you to educate yourselves ... you can only poke the public in the eye but so long) .........

July 29 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

this story is sofa king lame

July 29 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

bunch of cake sachers

July 29 2010 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You can put a silk suit on a monkey, but it's still a monkey! They need to clean up more then their language.

July 29 2010 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply