My ****** guide to where it is ok to swear
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Mum, if you are reading this, cease and desist. This is not for your eyes.
It's not the column where I confess my expensive crystal meth addiction or love of mild Cheddar.
It's worse than that. I sometimes swear.
I'm sorry, but I use words that are quite a bit worse that poo, bum and damn: worse even than bloody.
You won't see them in this column. For, quite rightly, sweary outbursts are not the EDP's style.
I can't write ******, ***** or *******. I definitely can't write ****. And ****-******** *********** is off the scale.
There's a time and a place for cussing, though. It can be cathartic and is sometimes the only appropriate way to describe a person or a situation.
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But I do worry that people are forgetting to use the filter, and are letting rip in places and in company where it's just plain wrong.
On the bus this week (yes, the bus again, but this time there were enough seats to avoid the need to make a 70-year-old pass-holder give me theirs) there were loads of school pupils on their way home.
Two boys were having a loud conversation that include the relentless dropping of various swear-bombs.
With four older ladies sitting nearby, they were crossing the line. So I gave them my best Viking battle-stare and told them to cut it out.
After a mildly cheeky response, they did tone it down - which was a relief because I didn't want to go to the next level of producing the Valhallan double-headed axe.
I don't care if teen lads swear: just check your audience first and pitch it appropriately.
The same goes for parents of small children. Swear if you must, but do you have to do it at or in front of them? I despair at the number of times I've seen mums or dads letting rip at toddlers for the crime of not walking quickly enough or for dropping something out of their pushchair.
It's ugly, disgusting and self-perpetuating. Children copy their parents - more's the pity - so the ugliness is passed on, producing the next generation of no-filter bus teens.
I can remember precious few swear words being used in our home when I was a child. That was also the case with my children.
All of which has created a role reversal. For when I play football in the same team as my teenage sons, they are the ones glaring at me for doing a swear. That's when they're not glaring at me for making a complete spoon of myself.
To be fair, the former usually follows the latter.
I plead guilty to swearing, but my mitigation is that a football match is somewhere that we should be able to let rip.
Sometimes we get referees who are totally intolerant of any swearing and produce yellow cards willy(sorry)-nilly.
It's ridiculous. You've got 22 men crashing into each other and letting off steam from a week of work. Naughty words will be spoken, so cut us some slack.
I also have a problem with pubs that have swear boxes.
Ok, if you're more restaurant than pub, it's fine. But a proper pub is somewhere that - as long as it's not too loud or relentless - a side of swear with your pint should be no problem.
Ultimately, swearing has its place, as literature and music have shown for centuries.
I have a really good friend who engages regularly with me in extreme swearing as therapy to exorcise life's many demons. But not on the bus, near a playground or in a church.
There's a *********** time and a ******** place.
All of the above notwithstanding, I still can't swear in front of my Mum. The shame would kill me - if the death stare didn't get me first.