Skip to main content

Pass the soap please

Published October 12. 2013 09:00AM

I am neither a sailor nor a truck driver; but sadly, when I become agitated (which is quite frequently anymore), you would think otherwise.

One of my biggest faults aside from the food I allow to go into my mouth is the words that I allow to come out of my mouth more specifically, the profane ones.

You would think that being a writer and having much appreciation for the multitude of words available to me within the English language I could come up with better things to say when I am angry.

But alas, I seem to cling to a handful of "favorites" that often flow out of my mouth with little thought up front, but with much guilt, frustration and remorse in the aftermath.

This is not a good thing at all; especially being a parent, a professional and a woman of faith.

(No, I am not a hypocrite, I am imperfect but I am trying.)

I have struggled with my potty mouth for decades and just when I thought things were getting better, it would seem that I suddenly have found a new affinity for the "F-bomb" and I absolutely hate it.

I don't know why it is so hard to kick this, but I have been determined to try hard to finally do so.

I started poking around on the Internet and found some interesting facts about swearing.

For starters, swearing is believed to have come from the early forms of word-magic.

Word-magic, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is, "magic involving the use of words in a manner determined by a belief that the very act of uttering a word summons or directly affects the person or thing that the word refers to".

Swear words are uttered in nearly every culture around the world and are mostly used when a person is angry or frustrated.

Swearing is often a way to relieve stress or blow off steam much like the way infants and young children do when they cry.

Other reasons noted for swearing are to show masculinity, hide insecurities or to fit into a group, to utilize for humor or for a shock and awe effect.

People trying to learn a new language on their own will often learn its swear words first, as will small children as they learn to speak.

Most swear words refer to either religion or the human body and its functions.

Men are more likely to curse but women are more likely to feel bad about doing it.

Additionally, women are often judged more harshly for swearing than their male counterparts.

A study in 2009 conducted at Keele University in England suggested that swearing can help people cope with pain.

Participants in the study submerged their arms in ice water and were given neutral words to speak to deal with the pain they were feeling as they were timed for how long they could endure the ice water.

Then they were permitted to use profanity during the second test and in the end, it appeared that swearing allowed the participants to withstand the pain from the ice water for a longer duration than with using neutral or clean words.

In a 2011 follow-up study, however, it was discovered that those who used swear words frequently received less of a benefit from their usage.

After reading all of these interesting facts, I then started looking for ideas on how to actually stop swearing.

Suggestions included: creating a swear jar where a specified amount of money will be placed into it each time an undesirable word is uttered; soliciting the help of others to keep you accountable when you foul up; identify the things that make you swear and try to avoid them (this becomes challenging when it is people); avoid music, television or movies that contain profanity as indulging in them reinforces your bad behavior; adopt a more positive attitude; find other words to use in place of the profane ones; and the practice of wearing a rubber band on your wrist and "snapping" it every time you cuss.

Needless to say, I am now wearing said rubber band.

I am hoping to, one way or another, finally rid myself of this nasty habit.

It is really hard to come down on my teenager for it when I struggle with it myself.

Perhaps we can embark on this journey together.

So if you happen to bump into me and hear me speaking with a potty mouth, feel free to snap my band.

I will be grateful to you for it. Truly.

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


October 2017


Upcoming Events

Twitter Feed


STEP-Up Tamaqua to meet Monday

40.798347, -75.970851

STEP-Up Tamaqua will...

Man faces charges for shooting his dog

40.8014826, -75.6101867

Charges have been fi...

Extension hosts annual dinner

40.7986942, -75.8104747

The Carbon County Ex...

Reader Photo Galleries