Watch your mouth

So, I’m in a bit of a ‘complainy’ mood today.  Not the best way to start Lent, I know.  I’ve actually been getting lots of all those little things done this week, so I should feel better and productive.  Oh well, it will pass I’m sure.  Oh, and speaking of Lent.  No, I’m not Catholic, but I do try to do something, or more likely NOT do something each year to improve myself in some way.   I’ve found a doosy this year.  Watching my language.  So, I’m sorry but I won’t be able to say someone’s ‘favorite’ phrase for them until after Easter, and I’m pretty sure I should try cutting it out all together.   I’m not that bad, but words just sort of start creeping into your vocabulary and before you know it you are using them in what should be completely harmless and normal sentences and situations.  It’s only day one and I’ve already caught myself mindlessly using some less appealing words.   I know that the point of ‘giving something up’ is not really supposed to be used for things you should already NOT be doing, but for me I hope it is a catalyst that helps me think more about ALL of the things I say and how they affect how I think and how they affect those around me.  I haven’t come up with some sort of punishment for when I mess up, and I don’t think I should.  I just need to note the mistake, in what context it happened and then work to correct/change my response in that situation.  If I come up with some sort of punishment (like no coffee or something), then I’ll start bargaining and rationalizing with myself and that is SO not the point.

Kind of like we are supposed to be aware of everything we eat so that we don’t engage in ‘mindless’ eating, we should do our best to avoid ‘mindless’ talking.  At least that’s what I’m going to work on.  Does anyone have a good thesaurus site I can use? 😉

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  • Bob R. Smith - I could speak on this all day. I’ll just leave pillow pants for now.

  • k - Oh, there is an entirely separate discussion about what words, if any, are “bad”. Oh I’ve had that discussion and there’s a lot to discuss. All I’m saying, is that for me, I would like to work on choosing my words with more forethought, whatever they are.
    But I’d love to discuss it with you and pillow pants sometime 😉

  • Mielinski - So you say that you are trying to cut these things out all together? make yourself a better “K”? so what happened with caffeine? didnt you give that up recently for lent? and i think i have seen you drinking sugary, highly caffeinated drinks since! FOR SHAME…FOR SHAME! see, you need to give up something good, but that is easier… me giving up getting pregnant! 🙂

  • pookie - Oh, I love debating profanity and its social uses and taboos. I found this description of the social uses of bad words in Steven Pinker’s book Language as a Window into Human Nature. His book breaks profanity down into five categories:
    1) Dysphemistic swearing – Exact opposite of euphemism… forces listener to think about negative thing…using the wrong euphemism has a dysphemistic effect. We sometimes need to be dysphemic.
    2) Abusive swearing – for abuse or intimidation or insulting of others
    3) Idiomatic swearing – swearing without really referring to the thing.. just using the words to arouse interest, to be macho/cool, and express to peers that the setting is informal.
    4) Emphatic swearing – to emphasize something with swearing.
    5) Cathartic swearing – when something bad happens like coffee spilling, people curse. One evolutionary theory of it is that its meant to tell the audience that you’re undergoing a negative emotion.
    (For more see

    How have you defined “bad”? It seems to me that you really want to cut out certain types of swearing such as idiomatic swearing and abusive swearing.

  • k - Oh, “pookie” what would I do without your insight. Good stuff. I will think about my definition of bad and get back to you on that.

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