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Is it acceptable for a CEO to use the word "suck" when discussing his company's outlook to investors?

Related Story:D.R. Horton CEO Sees Price Stability in 2008, But 2007 Will 'Suck'

“You bet it is. There is no way you can misunderstand the message he is trying to convey.” -- Bob V., CA

Absolutely not. There must be some decorum in manner and speech for a corporate leader and using a word with vulgar implications to describe a financial down-turn is unacceptable. Corporate leaders set the standard for followers and the use of foul language or language that implicates vulgarities indicates a lack of moral concern for self, peers, superiors, subordinates, vendors, and customers in particular and society as a whole ... If the CEO is a representative of the organization he/she leads then what does his/her word choice say about the organization?” -- Jacque K., Pennsylvania

Get rid of the political correctness nonsense and let people call them as they see them.” -- Jacques L., Hawaii

“No, it is not appropriate. It sends the wrong message to the Board of Directors, shareholders, management team, and to all consumers (particularly our young business grads that are up and coming) that the CEO can say and do whatever they want. It sounds like possibly a "Cotillion Class for much older kids is in order!” -- Laura F., North Carolina

"Using the word “sucks” is straight to the point and self explanatory. To use it in this context is not appropriate in any manner." -- Nicole M., Ohio

"A CEO with such a lack of professionalism, tact and basic common sense is most likely the reason that his business outlook "sucks" as bad as it does." -- Zack H., Maine

"CEOs have a responsibility to provide specific direction and leadership related to the business and how they plan to make a difference. It is absolutely unacceptable for a CEO to use such phases and I would apply that word to any CEO who uses it." -- Bob P., Florida

"Using the word “suck” garnered him free advertising for his company for two days. How bad can that be?" -- Peg M., Ohio

"Absolutely. I appreciate his honesty. The marketplace could only be so fortunate to have more CEO's like Mr. Tomnitz. The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment applies to CEO's as well. I yearn for the day that our current administration respects such a concept." -- Curt B., Florida

"If I owned stock in the company I would question his position to manage it." -- John A., Michigan

"Yes. It's acceptable because you can't possibly misinterpret what he means." -- Marshall G., Florida

"It is definitely not acceptable. A person in such a highly regarded position should NOT be using language that we constantly hear from teenagers. No one is perfect including myself, but a CEO really needs to choose his words and statements carefully. He is representing his company and needs to do so in a responsible and mature manner." -- Simone., Connecticut

"It was only a matter of time before the deconstruction taking place in our nation should reach the boardroom." -- Jack C., Texas

"If it is in the dictionary, it's fair game. The word 'suck' is commonly used in business in exactly the same context. The media hype over this is what is inappropriate. How many times have we heard and used the expression 'sucked the life out of' something, such as, 'the downturn in the Chinese market sucked the life out of markets around the world.' Plain language that has no ambiguity is a refreshing thing on Wall Street where the doublespeak, inferences, innuendoes and hedged comments abound. Street Smarts should endorse Street Talk. This guy is my hero. I've added his company to my list of buys. There's more important stuff to report on than this. How about all the insider trading that abounds in the market? Do some real investigative reporting!" -- Tony P., Kent Cliffs, NY

"The CEO of D R Horton said it. It is not professional but enough is enough. Yesterday, all the CNBC anchors repeated the word "suck" when talking about this company. It sounded like a bunch of kindergarten children just discovering a dirty word. Enough CNBC. Let it go." -- Joan A., Massachusetts

"Absolutely NOT. I can understand the frustration, but under no circumstances does that kind of language belong anywhere in a public setting." -- Mark S., Atlanta, Ga.

"I think there is too much discussion on how he delivered the message, rather than the message itself. He told it like it was without any sugar coating. He should be commented for being honest. It is much better than what we usually get from corporate executives. Most of the time we get information that 'sucks.'" -- Robert R., Virginia

"I thought it was pretty funny and unfortunately totally describes the situation. We have lots more things to worry about than that." -- Karen T., Florida

"It a sign of the times we live in. America has no "class" anymore. All types of media (movies, TV, "reality shows" and let's not forget video games) have reveled in using profanity and vulgar slang. In an effort to look "hip" or "edgy" the use of the word "suck" just comes off making this CEO's company seem plebian and uneducated." -- Cheryl in MD

"If I owned a company and things were not looking good for the year, I would think it sucks - and, yes, he should be able to say so. In the world of political correctness we need to loosen up just a bit." -- Dan G., Florida

"While it is now common lingo for people 40 and under meaning "not good", it once had sexual connotations. It seems if a leader wants to be a true statesman, his vocabulary should respect all." -- Marc W., Colorado

"What do I think?? I would fire anyone that does not respect his company, including the CEO and OR president. Very disrespectful of their company, a sign that they are not in control." -- William B., Minnesota.

"Since when did it become "inappropriate" to tell the unvarnished truth? I think it's refreshing, and wish all CEO's had the same backbone to tell it like it is." -- Charles J., Virgin Islands

"Inappropriate, yes, but that is how WE have become. Polite society is a thing of the past. This is a case of life imitating "art" as the media for years has been promoting the use of that word among other vulgarities in their mindless programming. I dare say that the lewdness spoken in today’s “white collar” corporate offices from Main St. to Wall St. makes what that CEO said sound like The Brady Bunch. We have given truckers & sailors a bad rap." -- Scott Ryan A., West Palm Beach, Florida

"Why not? Everywhere else on late night TV the 'bleeps' don’t even cover the actual word spoken. The continued decline of formality in business is here to stay. Does anyone still wear a blue suit/white shirt to the office these days?" -- Ara T., Florida

"I would say a man's (or women's) intelligence can be measured by the language he uses. In this case we see that he doesn't measure up very high. Too bad for DHI." -- Bill S., Arizona

"I can understand the sentiment, but do not feel a CEO should discuss the business outlook for his company with this type of "off the clock" vocabulary. If I did own this company, my confidence would surely be shaken. I would rather hear how the company anticipated the market conditions along with the current strategy to weather the storm." -- Dan, Lexington KY

"If Greenspan says it, I"m outta here." -- Jay P., Ohio

"Use of the English vernacular using colloquialisms in a professional setting quite frankly "sucks". However, we need more straight talking CEO's working at reasonable wages ala Warren Buffet and the Costco CEO." -- Barry M., Arkansas

"It is sad to see a CEO with such a narrow vocabulary, but then poor word choice seems to be in keeping with the CEO of the U.S. government as well. Maybe this is part of the dumbing down of America. At least everyone could understand the message." -- Joseph R., Missouri

"After hearing what he had to say about his business outlook, I think I know what to do regarding his stock , at least for now. I certainly would rather hear something like that than have someone say 42 sentences and then say to myself, what did he say? I was a truck driver for 20 years but now that I am retired I am handling my own portfolio and doing pretty good too . Loosen up America." -- Ted R., Boca Raton, Florida

"All these conference calls where you have to read between the lines of what the CEO says is too difficult for the normal investor. If this CEO is willing to say that his company's year will "suck", then I will be more inclined to believe him when he says that his company will have a good year. I applaud Mr. Horton for saying things as he sees them and not what he thinks everyone wants to hear. I just wish our politicians could do the same. I would vote for that person." -- Bill P., MA

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