Quitting swearing — a quest for improved diction

There was a Bewitched marathon on this weekend and besides being hit in the face about 10 times an episode with the Stephens’ family’s 50’s values I remembered how much I liked the way Elizabeth Montgomery speaks.  She sounds so classy!  I bet she never swears.I swear a lot and I think I am decidedly un-classy, in both elocution and general presentation.  I decided I’m going to try to class myself up by cutting back on the swearing.  This is Day 1.  Supposedly it takes about 3 weeks to break in or out of a habit, so this experiment will last the rest of January.  I swear (heh) that this is NOT a New Year’s Resolution, it’s simply a behavioral experiment I am using as fodder for blogging.

So here’s the set-up.

1. I have estimated that I swear approximately 30 times per day and my boyfriend has even noticed an increase in my usage of the F-Word.

2. I want to completely eliminate the F-word and the S-word from my vocabulary.

3. I am using the ol’ swear jar method.  A quarter goes in for each written and verbal utterance of either of the aforementioned words.  I included written because so much of my life takes place over e-mail these days that it’s not uncommon for me to type the F- or S-words without even thinking about it.

4. I will tally up the quarters at the end of each week to monitor any decline in my swearing.

5.  My boyfriend will be helping me out by letting me know when I’ve let one slip without even noticing it

Depending on the success of this experiment I may work on my Big Three swears which are: Goddammit, Son of a bitch, and asshole.  Frequently all used together.  But I am pretty attached to those ones and I’m not sure I’m ready to let them go just yet.

Also, I refuse to come up with some dumb replacement word.  The point is to become more eloquent. Eloquent speakers don’t use “fudge” instead of “f***”, they use a more descriptive word to articulate their emotions.  So, no “shucks” for me, it’s either “I dislike this situation because of its inconvenience to me” or nothing at all!

Wish me luck and let me know if you have any tips to stop swearing.

6 replies on “Quitting swearing — a quest for improved diction”

I don’t have any tips to quit swearing, but my thoughts are with you, Luci. I’ve noticed a decided uptick in cursing since I started spending more time on the internet (maybe because the news, without fail, makes me see red?) and I’ve been making an effort to cut back lately too. “Damn it all to hell” is my favorite cursing phrase to say out loud. “Jackass” is my favorite thing to call people who are bothering me.

(Oh wait, was this not a place to share what curses we like?…..dammit. Wait, I mean, “this makes me feel foolish about having typed a curse word on a post about not cursing anymore”).

Good luck, Luci.

I will never abandon swearing, it’s a release for me. I don’t indulge in other vices except caffeinated drinks, so that’s my justification. I’d rather people be blunt and swear because I know where they are coming from, than be artificial and use overly polite words while masking their true feelings. Oops, talking about me again.

It’s good to also surround yourself with non swearing people and cut out swearing media. That’s how it works with kids.

Perhaps you need to accomplish this goal in increments, not all at once. How can you eliminate all swears, coded swears, and banish swear thoughts all at once? That’s a very tall order

BTW when I hear about swear jars I think of classic film star Loretta Young who kept a swear jar on movie sets where she worked. She was a devout Christian.

When I told Selena about this she said the same thing….it’s so satisfying! And who knows, I may decide to go back to swearing.

I definitely have not cut out swear thoughts. I don’t think I could do that. I have sworn in my head so much already today I haven’t even counted. But I have stopped myself from typing some bad words even though I thought them, I’m ok with that.

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