Does Christian Bale's Freak Out Make You Want to Stop Cursing?

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Christian Bale: American Psycho

Christian Bale: American Psycho

My ears are way too fragile to watch Christian Bale's freak out of F bombs. I hear--or don't hear, as the case may be--that he dropped them at the rate of 36 per minute, according to Cafe MichelleL in Entertainment Buzz yesterday.


Okay, I'm just going to stop telling whoppers now. I have ears of steel. I have a mouth that would make a sailor blush.

I cuss.

An effing lot. Do you?

If you have a love of f-words, s-words and all foul sayings in between, have you ever wanted to just stop cursing?

I wrote a story about Breaking My Bleeping Habit recently for Self magazine, and I interviewed a man named P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct. He told me that cursing inserts negativity into a room. Words stronger than shoot als show a loss of emotional control, lack of originality and offend others.

If he hadn't been so terrribly nice and charming, I might've told him to off himself, only the x-rated version. Just a few weeks ago, he was on Oprah's couch giving words of advice on how to be more civil.

Here are three tips I've been trying to stop cussing. They are from Forni and also Jim O'Conner, author of Cuss Control:

  1. Replace bad words with inoffensive ones. I try to say, "Fooey," instead of you-know-what, but it just doesn't cut it somehow. Within two days, I sounded like a Soprano again. This habit is bleeping hard to break.
  2. Find another way to fill the cursing void. After thinking this through, I realize cursing often equals tension release. My solution is to make myself snap my fingers when I feet like talking trash. (Wow, I didn't say mother-$@*^%$ when I dropped that egg on the kitchen floor!) The snapping helps that intense, frustrated feeling go away as quickly as cursing did. I notice my 3-year-olds walking around the house snapping their fingers now. It makes sense, they mimick my curse words, too.
  3. Monitor my progress. I have to put $5 of my spending money in an envelope every time I slip up and say something naughty. I hate this. It's embarrassing when the envelope gets fat (my husband sees it). And that's money I would have spent on sales at Target. This old adage, not surprisingly, works.

I am no Christian Bale, BTW. Thankfully, most of us aren't. Just last July, he was arrested in connection with an alleged verbal assault on his mother, Jenny, and sister, Sharon, who called the authorities. Cussing at your mother, in my book, is wrong and stupid. And it's definitely not a good way to get her inheritance.

For those of us who are just nice, normal, respectable f-bombers, you know, without rage issues: Have your cursing habits ever trickled down to your kids? My Annabelle sometimes says the word Bitch when she drops her graham cracker. Um, I didn't teach her that.

Do you curse? What have your kids said that they might've gotten from you? Or maybe you think cursing is freakin' disgusting--if so, how do you not do it?

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