Awhile back (before Christmas) I was in a store and I overheard a conversation between a customer and the cashier. I was surprised how many times I heard the word sh*t used by both of them. Waiting for a bus I heard a couple guys standing outside a restaurant (one of them worked there not sure about the other one) and the part of their conversation I overheard consisted of: G-d bleep that mother bleep John is the most laid back bleeper in this whole bleeping town. On the bus on the way home, I heard several more words (F-word, N-word, B-word, and a few others).
I don’t consider myself a prude when it comes to foul language but there are times when it should be avoided: if you are representing a business or company, in mixed company (any situation that you don’t know everyone present) or in front of children. (as with any “rules” I’m sure there are exceptions).
We (Deb and I) were thinking that maybe certain words were slipping into our causal conversations. Like many other people, we thought about using a cuss jar (every time you swear you have to put money in the jar). Problem with a cuss jar is that you don’t carry it about with you all day and by the time you get home you can’t remember if you should toss in a quarter or your whole paycheck…
So we came up with a better solution than a jar (that is never around when you need it). We call it the ELEGANT SOLUTION. We simply let friends and family know that if they catch us using an offensive word all they have to do is say ELEGANCE and upon hearing that word we have to rephrase the entire sentence that contained the offending word. It’s that simple, seems everyone enjoys saying elegance. We do have exceptions that we can call to keep from rephrasing, example: stubbing my toe on the coffee table, or the guy really was an A$$H*LE! (as long as it wasn’t in front of kids).
We have been doing this for a few months now and we have noticed a few things, we catch ourselves (often before an offense has been made, and we don’t really swear as much as we thought (or it’s become so casual that we never catch it).
When someone says elegance we don’t have rephrase the sentence using big, fancy or sophisticated words, we just have to lose the offending word or words. The whole idea is just to get you to thinking about what you are saying.
So good riddance swear jar and hello elegance.