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07 October 2009

Trying to give up cussing and blaspheming If I couldn't say it in front of 100 people, I'm not saying it anymore. I'm finding it incredibly difficult!

Tips, tricks, suggestions are welcomed.
Replace the words with harmless ones - "fiddlesticks!" or "sugar". Say "for goodness sake" instead of "for god's sake". Practice, practice, practice. I came from a private law firm where, out of earshot of clients, everyone swore like infantrymen, to a large open-plan office where swearing is banninated by the company. So I had to learn, through practice, not to say the naughty words.
posted by essexjan 07 October | 05:23
We've also learned to swear in inter-office emails, to our co-workers. The email filth filter picks up any swear words so 'crap' becomes 'carp', 'twat' becomes 'tawt', 'shit' becomes 'sh!t' and there's a great word which I learned from - 'twunt' - which is not recognised at all by the filter.
posted by essexjan 07 October | 05:25
Also, for those Americans out there, the word 'twat' is commonly used in England as an alternative to 'idiot'. I know it's not in such common usage in the States.
posted by essexjan 07 October | 05:27
Ha ha ha, not that I was all offended but it made so much more sense when you pointed it out. I was all, "where on earth does essexjan work?"

I just hiss sometimes when I bang my knee on a desk corner or drop something. Admittedly because I starts saying "sssshhhhhhhit" and stopped myself.
posted by Juliet Banana 07 October | 05:52
No tips from me. I work in an office where bad language is the norm when no outsiders are around, which is almost all the time. Strangely enough, we can use any language we want in internal e-mails, but the message gets bounced if it goes outside the department. Which is probably fortunate.
posted by dg 07 October | 06:58
Being around kids now I've mostly given it up. I just go Argh, Guh, Ugh, Ohhhh, groan and moan, make sounds of disgust or anger without letting them become words. I sometimes resort to some of the lesser (depending on your viewpoint) swearwords: crap, etc.
posted by DarkForest 07 October | 07:06
I've almost never heard swearing at any of my jobs in software development. And never in emails at work.
posted by octothorpe 07 October | 07:18
Can you pick the hundred people?
posted by pompomtom 07 October | 07:36
Everybody in TV news swears like a sailor, but you become keenly aware of when you can and when you can't.
posted by BoringPostcards 07 October | 08:21
I have learned to swap out every single swear word I would ever want to say with the word Glennbeck.

You'd be amazed at how effective and satisfying this is.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 07 October | 09:20
I just go ahead and curse. Nothing bad has happened yet. Turns out they're just words!
posted by Eideteker 07 October | 10:03
Think before you speak. Seriously. I find that if I do that I am able to construct a sentence devoid of swear words.
posted by amro 07 October | 11:24
How about the old swear jar? Drop in a dollar or whatever, but the money goes to an organization you abhor. I bet you'd stop pretty quickly!
posted by 6550 07 October | 12:10
My friend has 3 kids and had to give up swearing. She has the best replacement phrases. "Son of a biscuit!" "Ssssssugarbaker!" "Holy Hannah!"
posted by toastedbeagle 07 October | 12:18
I can't deal with the cutesy substitutions (like "fiddlesticks"), but I have generally tried to find non-cutesy things that I can actually see myself saying. So "What the fuck is that?" has become "What on earth is that?", "Oh my god" (which I use *a lot*) has kind of morphed into "My word!" or "Really?!?!?", "It was so fucking stupid" is now "It was so incredibly stupid," etc. I think slowing down my speech in general has helped, which probably goes along with amro's suggestion to think first, then speak.

I don't think I ever made a huge conscious decision to stop swearing, but as my work has become more public-oriented (which is also the impetus for slowing down when I talk), it's just kind of happened. Except that I still swear when I'm ridiculously angry, which is something I *am* trying to work on, because I'm finding it just heats up the situation rather than fixing it or making anyone feel better.
posted by occhiblu 07 October | 12:23
I do use both biscuit and brisket, but mostly just because they make me laugh.
posted by Wolfdog 07 October | 12:26
My feeling is that the words aren't that important, except to the people who find them so darned important. A friend used to tell me that my tone could make "oh, really?" and "I see" sound like the vilest swears imaginable, and make "goddamnit!" sound like "fiddlesticks!" It's all about tone.

The things I most often blurt out when vexed or crossed:

- OHHHH, for goodness sakes...
- No. No nononononoNO.
- D'OH!

This does not stop me from yelling out "FUCKER!" in front of guests.
posted by Elsa 07 October | 12:39
I wanted to tone down my language a few years ago. I did a combination of thinking before I spoke and using alternative words/sayings. I think old-fashioned/silly exclamations are fun as are religious based sayings. The religious sayings may not go over any better than typical profanity depending on your location/religion/etc.

son of a biscuit
fargin bastitch

Holy Mary, mother of God!
Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

I am vexed or I am irked instead of I am pissed off.

I also throw in sayings from across the pond that work here, but are probably some of the words you're trying to not use:

posted by deborah 07 October | 15:16
So are we to call you By the Grace of Gosh now?

posted by Doohickie 07 October | 22:07
Doohickie, GOOD POINT :)

I think proper usage is still OK :)
posted by By the Grace of God 08 October | 03:47
I think I've seen the worst Facebook quiz there is... || Gifts for a 16 year old