Being Glaswegian I can swear. I don’t mean that I can say the words or make the signals, I mean that I can really swear – I can add a rasp to a f**k or a extension of the “i” to s**t in such a way as I am no longer just swearing I am actually swearing. Only a Glaswegian can say c**t and c**t and have I mean different things depending on the way that they are said.

I swear a little to much some times when I am around friends and I have no idea why. When I was growing up I would never be found swearing anywhere near my parents for fear of retribution. I was never allowed to swear when I was a Scout Leader outside of the banter between various other Scouters, even getting a dressing down once for coming close to swearing in front of some youngsters. As a Scouter though, a well placed swear word with the right kind of Scout always helped thing get along.

I only started to really notice that I swear a lot when people start remarking to me that “I swear more because I have hung around with you” which is something that I am not proud of. People do pick up ticks from their friends, feeding off their interactions, such as my recent, and irresponsible, use of “Y’all” and “touchdown” in common parlance – being good friends with two Texans has it’s troubles. I’d hate to think that their lasting impression of a Scotsman is the swearing, not the humour, humility, friendliness or general “och-aye” stuff, but the damage might already be done.

The Mail on Sunday (a common target for this blog it would seem) reported this weekend that they had contacted Asda and Tesco noting that they were stocking books and CDs that have the word “f**k” in the title. These include some bands of mine that I have listened to: “Holy F**k”, “F**ked Up” and “F**k Buttons”, all of which are truly gratuitous uses of the word. But are they offensive? Is the word itself offensive when used without malice? I think that when I use it to describe something as “very f**king good” that people will understand that that is not offensive. Saying “f**k off” to someone is obviously offensive as the word is used in malice. The debate should be about whether or not the word is inherently offensive no matter what context it is used in.

Obviously, though, the fact that anyone can be offended by anything is the whole point of being alive – I am annoyed at censorship for the most part, especially on the internet – China blocking Google and BBC websites annoys me, but the country is allowed to do what they want, and I think that swearing, whilst it is something I have become used to doing and was at peace with, I might have slightly more reservations about it. A quote I read years ago from Linkin Park (those bastions of thought) read “We don’t need to swear in our songs, we can describe our feelings with more emotive lyrics without them” makes sense, and I wonder if cutting out swearing from my diet would make me a better spoken person.

So I am taking some steps to stop this. From today I am going to try and stop swearing. Seriously. This is a serious attempt at curtailing my language. How will I police it? Well, good reader, this is where you come in. If I swear at any point that I am with you then a punch or a pound fine is to be administered. I am sure some reading this might be thinking that this is ridiculous and I will be battered black and blue by the days end, and you’d be right. Pavlovian conditioning and all that shit. Damn.