In an office where I worked, there was one client who could not complete a sentence without profaning the name of God. He wasn’t angry; that was just his way of expressing himself. For two years, this good man (and he was good) offended without knowing it.
One day he came into my office to file an application for assistance. As I asked him a question pertinent to the forms, he scratched his head, prefaced his answer with the name of God, and added, “Let me think a minute.”
I squirmed, then replied: “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll give you all the time you need to think if you’ll stop swearing so I can think.”
He looked up in stunned silence for a moment, then reached out his hand, smiled, and replied: “That’s a deal.”
I’m certain he would have responded the same way two years earlier if I had summoned my courage at that time. Never again did I hear this gentleman use offensive language.