Does profanity rev up your message, or put off your audience?

Beto O’Rourke got lots of coverage for his sharp outburst to a question about Donald Trump’s response to a mass shooting in El Paso. Do the ‘bad’ words undercut his argument?

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How important is the use of profanity for your audience?

As communicators trying to reach diverse and disparate demographics, it’s usually unwise to offer anything that might be taken offensively. However, strong language can deliver benefits.

Beto O’Rourke, who is running for president, got plenty of coverage for his impassioned outburst over a question about the president’s response to the mass shooting in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso, Texas, which he represented in Congress.

The Cut wrote:

Someone asked him whether Donald Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric had anything to do with the El Paso tragedy, before which the suspect, now in custody, had published a white-supremacist screed on the website 8chan.

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