“When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.” ~ Mark Twain
When was the last time you heard about this idea?
One of my neighbors has a literal swear jar.
Sad but true.
We’ve all seen the entertainment of someone who walks into a house where there’s a swear jar. They attempt to curb their profanity but then find that they just cannot help themselves. So they dump in all the money that they have and just let the waves of swearing come pouring out of their mouths.
Its pretty funny to watch. But have you ever actually seen a swear jar?
I recall a time when I was in grade school that the teacher actually had a swear jar in. Although the money wasn’t piling up to the top. We were responsible for our own bad language. Writing it down how many times we had said something that was considered inappropriate in class and putting it into the jar. Then the total amount would be added up and then the student would have to pay.
The thing of it was that the money collected was to help supplement a fund to pay for a field trip that was coming up. A field trip that I missed due to illness.
The teacher NEVER enforced. However the students were more than happy to enforce it upon others. When the class was not allowed to even use soft swear words, such as “dang” or “crap”, it surely made for an interesting time period. This kind of language is what I call PG-13 language, and it just wasn’t acceptable in class.
So fraudulent pieces of paper of students tattling on other students when those students weren’t even guilty of swearing.
My neighbor has a swear jar.
But she operates it differently.
The thing of it was that this neighbor gets super-duper offended with profanity and cussing. So much to the fact that she had publicly told people who had the urge to swear that she was going to charge them for each and every foul phrase that rushed out of their mouths.
There was one big problem. She couldn’t enforce it at all. Her idea was never a good one as she did not have authority to correct other people’s language.
But what she COULD do was make the attempt to supervise people’s mouths who were inside of her own home.
We all have our own little house rules. And she then realized that she would be able to have a swear jar. What she didn’t factor was that she wouldn’t be able to enforce it. So basically, the only thing that she can do is scold you for anything that came out of your damned mouth that was considered freakin’ inappropriate.
Anyway, how in the world do you enforce against another full grown adult that they must pay for the bad language? It just wasn’t working out.
She’s had to change how she does things.
Now instead of just charging people money, she enforces humiliation upon the person who just said something she didn’t like by telling them to apologize and she won’t allow the current conversation to go any further until said apology was issued by the offender.
Other people who break the no cussing rule have to give her a hug.
And if someone comes by and brings a friend with them, someone that she doesn’t know personally and THEY get foul? Then, that’s a flat cash charge of up to $2 per “fuck, shit, and bitch” that was uttered. Other lesser swear words are simply $1.
Rule of thumb in her home: If you couldn’t say it on television in the 1970’s then do not say it in her home. UNLESS you are quoting someone.
It is so easy to get around by using words like “fricking” and “dang” and other uses of PG-13 language.
I am not opposed to someone having a swear jar. If the money put into it was to go towards something like paying for a hobby or a vacation or even something that was noble. Having a swear jar to curb the mouths of people around you isn’t such an excellent idea. Those who want to curb the offensiveness of language will always have a long battle ahead of them. And they usually will not win. And you’re only kidding yourself if you believe that some way or some how you are about to become rich overnight be employing a swear jar. You can charge people all you want for them using what you consider bad language, but enforcing it is a totally different issue when you are faced up with grown adults.