You ever see an old commercial and say, "what the"... from the lens you have as a HR professional or manager of people?
Case in point - my son is doing a project where they've been asked to plan to build a segment of the Great Wall of China. He has to name his company and went with the always hot "Dunn Construction Company".
My big idea? I tongue in cheek told him he should name it "Ancient Chinese Secret", after an old Calgon Detergent commercial that only people in their 40's and up remember from their childhood. The video appears below (email subscribers click through, it's worth it), comments after the jump:
Could this commercial appear on today's television? I doubt it, although slang is always considered more appropriate when used by members of the culture/nationality being identified by it.
While I'm on topic, my kids (FYI - they are decidedly white and middle class) are also dealing with the proliferation of the use of the N-word in the circles they frequent. The good news is that their school district has more diversity than many affluent suburbs around us. The bad news is they have to learn young/quickly related to the use of that slang word and others.
One of the big changes related to the use of this slang word is the proliferation of the use of the word in today's music world. I was an early convert to what is now considered old school rap, and the word was almost never used. In today's mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop world, it's used more than conjunctions. BTW, if you didn't get the memo, rock is dead.
Further confounding this is the fact my sons have a heavy interest in basketball. As white kids, the older they get, the more they become a minority in that world, which comes with some unbelieveable learning opportunities and is generally a positive to open their minds to hundreds of angles of life.
One of the those opportunities is understanding context and what's appropriate related to their use of the word.
My advice is never use that word or it's equivalents in other cultures. Listen and be in it but not of it. Which is to say that you must be patient when you hear it, yet understand why you can't use it.
Even if you see it used on a Calgon commercial - or in a Top 40 song by Drake.