Goldman Sachs employees are going to have to be a lot more careful about which words they use in emails, text messages and instant messages. The WSJ reports that the company has warned its employees it will soon be screening their electronic communication for swear words and acronyms (even words that contain *** won't fly.)
Why the stepped up enforcement? Well it's likely got something to do with that infamous Senate hearing back in April, when Senator Carl Levin, quoting from a Goldman memo, said the word s****y at least 12 times in under 5 minutes.
Here's part of the exchange between Levin and Goldman CFO David Viniar:
LEVIN: And when you heard that your employees, in these e-mails, when looking at these deals said, God, what a s****y deal, God what a piece of crap — when you hear your own employees or read about those in the e-mails, do you feel anything?
VINIAR: I think that's very unfortunate to have on e-mail.
(The gallery bursts out laughing.)
Lucas Vanpraag, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, told the NY Daily News that the policy isn’t new, but that "occasionally" the company likes to "remind people."
As for us, we'd like to remind you of these other 23 things you should never write in an email.
Update: We've been talking here at the office about what other words the staff of Goldman Sachs and other companies that screen employee messages could use to replace swear words. Robert Smith suggested "gogzugger," and David Kestenbaum reminded us of the word "cuss," which the film Fantastic Mr. Fox used to replace many non-kid-friendly terms. Now we want to hear your suggestions and please no obvious acronyms.