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So there I was, driving along happily, when someone carved me up really aggressively. I let out my frustration by instantly swearing, then remembered my teenage son was in the back.

Me: “Sorry about that. Not really the way to respond on the road.”

Son: “Don’t worry, it’s only the 3rd time I’ve heard you say that.”

Me: “What?!”

Son: “That particular word… you don’t use it often. Unlike all the other swear words you use.”

Me: “So… you’re keeping a log of how much I swear?”

Son: “Kind of. It’s interesting.”

Cue an hour of quiet guilt – as a writer surely I should have a better grasp of the English language?

It reminded me of one of the running debates in YA about whether swearing is important for authenticity; but when I think about some of my favourite movies and TV shows, I realise they have miniscule amounts of swearing in them. Even though they often deal with very dark subjects, they find clever ways of expressing the rage and frustration of characters.

So I thought I’d give it a try: my 2015 New Year Resolution is to give up swearing.

Update: It’s now the afternoon of 1st January, and so far so good (if you ignore the lapse at 3 mins past midnight when I burnt my fingers trying to light a Chinese lantern!) I hope it will make me feel calmer and more in control… on the other hand, maybe I’ll  just have a massive meltdown in a few weeks!


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