In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, there is a memorable exchange between Captain Kirk and Spock on the use of swear words in conversation. The crew of the Enterprise travel back in time to 1986 and Spock remarks on the use of profanity. The exchange is as follows.

Spock: Admiral, may I ask you a question?
Kirk: Spock, don’t call me Admiral. You used to call me Jim. Don’t you remember “Jim”? What’s your question?
Spock: Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It is currently laced with, shall I say, more colorful metaphors– “Double dumb-ass on you” and so forth.
Kirk: You mean the profanity?
Spock: Yes.
Kirk: That’s simply the way they talk here. Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word. You’ll find it in all the literature of the period.

It is common for people to swear in conversation and you will find it in any number of situations. That being said, is it allowed by employees when addressing customers?

Dropping A Swear Word On Board

Recently I boarded a transatlantic flight and settled into by business class seat. Passengers were boarding and I engaged in conversation with one of the cabin crew. We were having general chit chat when she remarked that she was quite tired as she had a “shit sleep” the night before.

I was not offended as I use the word myself and have probably said the exact same thing to people when referring to a bad sleep. I do believe it is unprofessional to use a curse word to a passenger. Anyone could have overheard and some people are far less tolerant than I am when it comes to language. Children could have been in earshot and it may offend passengers from different cultures.

Overall Thoughts

I did not report the incident as it was said in conversation and without thinking. Even so, I don’t think cabin crew should use a swear word in conversation with passengers. Have you ever come across a member of crew using profanity in conversation? What do you think of this incident? Thanks for reading and if you have comments or questions, please leave them below.