The ABCs of minding your Ps & Qs


Recently, a certain reader expressed their discomfort with the kind of language I use on my blog from time to time. Initially I thought, “Well, F U”, but that was only a momentary reaction that illustrated her point beautifully.

It has been a recurring theme in my life (see my memoir, Wobbles – An Olympic Story – cracking read, etc, order here, etc), and I blame growing up in a teenage-male-dominated sporting arena where the S-bomb, the F-bomb and the big C-bomb were regular parts of speech. If I was to survive in this testosterone-charged environment without making life any harder for myself than it already was, I had to blend in (as much as an overweight, depressed frump can when spending most of her time in a swim suit surrounded by boys… again, see the book!).

As a consequence, I tend to swear freely. Not excessively, but, given the right company, freely. My husband does not object to using the odd expletive himself, especially when venting the frustrations of daily existence. So, surely I can feel free to use such language when venting to you. Surely this does not make me an uneducated gutter-snipe (btw, does anyone actually know what a ‘snipe’ is?). It’s not as though I’m “shitt-bugger-bum-bitch-piss-cock-fart-ing” my way though every post. And I’ve taken down the particularly offensive picture book cover that made Cate P snort her tea with glee. But, maybe censorship has a place and maybe she has a point

You see, I am becoming increasingly aware of the Little Lion who is beginning to suffer an identity crisis of sorts. He is becoming a parrot. In fact, only recently he began marching around the garden saying “Buck-sake”, to which I rapidly replied, “Cup cakes? Would you like cup cakes? Good idea! Let’s make cup cakes!” Do you think the strategy will work? And I know, he’s parroting what I say, not what I write, but I take pride in my blog being authentic, 100% me, no bullshit (oops! there I go again!). So if I am to curb my vernacular, it will have to be a total revamp. So here is the ABC strategy I’m going to have a go at. I am not guaranteeing success.

A is for Abstinence.

That’s right. Just quit swearing. Just stop. Give it up. Cold-turkey. Yep, as easy as… oh, I don’t know… giving up chocolate, quitting making cups of tea that I never drink, getting The Blossom to sleep on command or getting The Lion to eat broccoli.

B is for Bulk Bill

A girlfriend of mine instituted the swear jar shortly after her little munchkin hit 6-months and in no time they had a sizeable nest egg for Munchkin’s education. Setting the price could be a problem – do you go with fixed pricing or a sliding scale depending on the severity of the word? I do fear that we may be going hungry towards the end of the month, though. Can you IOU the swear jar? Or perhaps I can get credits every time I substitute a ‘shit’ with a ‘shivers’ or a ‘fuck’ with a ‘freak’.

C is for Chastise

This method, I fear, is the most practical, but also the most challenging. I could employ said disgruntled reader to berate me every time an expletive passes my lips (or finger tips). My fear is that you will be reading about a homicide via soap-eating soon after employing my Chief Chastisieur, so I think this method of cleaning up my linguistic act will require further consideration.

If all else fails, I guess I can always get me another blog called “smut-mouthing” or something similar – a blog that I don’t make public; a blog where I can drop all the bombs I want without fearing for my reputation; somewhere to ‘dang’ and ‘dash’ and ‘darn’, to ‘bother’ and ‘blast’ and ‘bolder-dash’, to ‘gosh’ and ‘golly’ and ‘geeze’ to my heart’s content.

Anyone got any other ideas? Because I think I’m about to be pushing blasted excrement up hill!


4 responses »

  1. Funny, in all the time I’ve known you I’ve never though of you as a ‘swearer’. And blogs are open slather – swear away! There are enough PC forms of communication out there to take up the non-swearing space.


  2. Ah, you must have what is commonly known as “Nadine’s Friend-Filter”. It is a device I have my little goblins insert into the brains of all those I hope to befriend so as not to offend them too quickly. Good to know it works!


  3. Ok, if I’m said person with the swear jar the rules are simple: $1 for every swear word, OR words you don’t think appropriate your 2yo repeat (such as buggar, damn, slapper or anything similar). This also applies to any visitors of your house.

    The catch is it’s $10 if you swear and they repeat it!!!


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