If I did slip up and swear I fined myself: 20p for a mild word and 50p for a really bad word, collecting the money in a noisy, rattly tin at work.
Everyone showed their "support" when they heard my tin "chink" with coins, by sniggering. And their sniggers were often louder on a Monday (because I'd be paying up for the weekend's mishaps).
The first day was the hardest, it felt like one of those diets I went on years ago when there was a list of forbidden foods and the only thing I could think of for the first few weeks of the diet was the forbidden foods. During my first day of lent all I could think of was the worst swear words I could possibly say, and they went round and round my head.
I managed to stop myself, rephrase things and choose better ways of expressing dismay, anger, frustration and complaints, instead of the usual f-word.
Over the course of 40-or so days (I think I did more than what was asked), Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, I collected £8.82 and I don't know where the random 2p came from.
I've decided to donate this to my friend Jamie's Just Giving Page, for Ocean Youth Trust (North)
Have I changed my habit long-term?I feel more conscious of myself when I swear, and try to avoid it.
I also notice it more when others swear.
However, there's no avoiding foul language when trying to use the University's P2P system, and before you ask What's P2P? you don't want to know, because I'll start by using a profanity. And we don't want that do we?