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About That Swearing Thing

September 17, 2015
Final Swearing

Fran caves in to her base instincts.

I learned six things from my two weeks of attempted non-swearing.

#1. Self-control is not my strong point.

#2. I swear quite a bit – not horribly, just conversationally. A damn here, a hell there,  with sh*t as my go-to word. When I’m sewing, driving, or discover my dog pooping on my carpet, I use the f-bomb. (Sister Janet, if you’re reading this — I’m sorry I’ve failed you.) But awareness is the first step.

#3. I’m aware that I swear quite often.

#4. Everyone swears more often now than they used to. Esquire Magazine ran an article last year that completely confirmed my suspicions.

#5. My friends, who are really nice, professional, intelligent, people also swear. Not in public, or all the time, but like me — when circumstances make it almost impossible not to – like when delivering a good punch line, or driving in Glendale.

(Driving here is like wearing a t-shirt with a large target on it, in front of elite, special forces sharpshooters. Go ahead, check it out, you’ll see Glendale is the least safe city in California, when it comes to driving. So, cursing while driving here is not only understandable, it’s practically necessary.  But now I’m rationalizing and have completely digressed.)

#6. Clearly, neither me, nor any of my foul-mouthed friends live in Mississippi, where it apparently is illegal to swear and/or be drunk in the presence of two or more people in a public place.

#6. I really don’t want to quit OR I suffer from a horrifying lack of self-restraint. (My family and friends will probably confirm that both these things are true.)

What I’ve discovered is, it’s not me to completely cut out swearing. When I stop, mid curse word, it seems disingenuous, like I’m trying, but not really. All my friends know me as someone they can let loose with. Not “Wolf of Wall Street,” letting loose – (the f-word flies anywhere from 506 to 569 times in that movie) – just colorful letting loose.

If I’m in a public place, I never swear so strangers can hear me, but swearing a little IS me, or has been me for the last 60 years. And when I’m with my friends who swear, and I’m deliberately not swearing, I think it makes them feel a little…bad. I’m not swearing, but you are – hence I’m good and you’re not. I must be superior — clearly the product of a good Catholic school. (Is this rationalizing too?)

Anyway, it was an enlightening experiment, and I tried it for about two weeks, but for God’s sake, enough is enough! I think I’ll swear less often now, but, in all likelihood, will still swear. However, I still stand by my previous blog post position, that it’s never OK for anyone, in Mississippi or not, to swear in public. Period.

(See Sister Janet? I’m not a total loss.)

Glad that’s done with, next blog post is about homemade bagels!

  • Reply
    Diana Diekmann
    September 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    My mom used to yell at us kids in Italian, thinking we didn’t know what she was saying! We didn’t, at the time, but did figure it out later. I was called “zingara” and “diavola” all too many times!!! Of course, some words just morphed into other words, like, sh*t became “shick”. That was so funny to us!!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 20, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Oh Diana, I hear ya. Our mothers had a special kind of love for us, one that could withstand Italian curse words! Too funny. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    September 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Frannie – Your non-swearing experimentation brought to light how often I swear, and how it’s just been part of my life for all these years. I’m not giving it up, but I am more careful. And for that, I say thank you!
    My mother, a lady in every way (well, mostly), used an interesting phrase when I was a kid, usually muttered under her breath, and after she had shut her finger in the window – Goll Ram! I had no idea what it was, until later in life. My sweet Mama was saying, in her own, unique quiet style, “God damn”.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 19, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      I think I’m going to hone my Italian swearing, that way I can be trashy, yet sound continental. (It made me realize how often I swear too, I guess it was a good thing – however painful – goll rammit!)

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Now, now, Chaz, . . . . . . .:-0

  • Reply
    skullwoman
    September 18, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Fran, I grew up outside of NYC, where swearing is a part of the dialect. My go to phrase when things go sideways is indeed WTF. My boss bought me a WTF mug one time for Christmas btw.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 19, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Too funny. I may have to buy one of those mugs too! It says it so succinctly!

  • Reply
    lafriday
    September 18, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Fran, we don’t want you your language to be “frozen” — let it go, let it go, let it go. It was an interesting experiment though and I made it through the week. I did have to strangle a couple of words when they tried to escape though.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      I know. Honestly, I think it made me realize just how often I do swear. Now I try to save it for those really big moments. Thank God childbirth is over, but I may be overcome by the World Series if my Pirates play. Then all swearing bets are off.

      • lafriday
        September 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm

        Completely understandable. I used to threaten to wash my mother’s mouth out with soap when we watched ANY sport with her.

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    September 18, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Frenzy – WTF is going on? G*d d*amn it – knock that sh*t off and just be your own f*cking self. What the h*ell.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      I hear ya Chas! I lasted a mere two weeks.

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