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Posted: March 4, 2012 12:00 a.m.

Limiting Foul Language

Listen, you and I both know that using profanity is an ugly and immature thing to do. However, a cuss word or two, when the situation calls for it, can be an unavoidable sin. Let's say you just dropped a 50 foot oak tree with your new chainsaw, and you watched in horror as the tree crushed your house, which was just 40 feet away. That would justify a pretty good blast of profanity and no one would reprimand you - at least, not until you turned the chainsaw off. So, I'm not unrealistic. I know there are times when we're going to cuss and nothing on this planet will stop us. It's a fact.

Well, the problem isn't that profanity will come out in a few rare situations. Nope, the problem is that we use profanity like salt. A sprinkle here; a dash there; a whole gob where it shouldn't go. So, let's clean up our acts and have fun in the process. Let me tell you how I did it. Oh, yeah. I've been known to use a few choice words, even when 50 foot oaks and crushed houses weren't involved. Let me share my trick to better living.

Simply put, you need to find a replacement word or phrase for your favorite cuss words. I reviewed my vocabulary and decided that there were some words that had to go.

So, now - when I'm mad - I just say something like "Snapdragons!" For this to work, you need to force yourself to say your replacement word whenever you want to say something more colorful. Once you do that, a whole new world opens up. You can mumble something nutty like "Snapdragons!" or "Pickle Sniffers!" - another of my favorites - over and over, and no one will know what you're really saying. They'll probably think you're crazy, but they won't know that you're cussing your head off. Of course, the theology on this is probably all wrong. In the end, it's what's in the heart that matters, and if you're saying "Snapdragons!" and thinking "&*#!!,"

I imagine you're still sinning mightily. But, let's just take this one step at a time and enjoy small victories. And if you ever do drop a tree on your house, just scream, "Queen Mary in a Coke bottle!" at the top of your lungs and see what that does for your reputation on the homeowners association.

 

David McCoy, a self-proclaimed Southern Gentleman and Raconteur-in-Training, lives in Covington with his family.

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