What the %&#*!

When the company stock drops 20 points in an afternoon, a shoot! or a darn! doesn’t convey quite the same anger and outrage as a good ‘n’ salty four-letter word. But before you shower your coworkers with enough profanity to make a longshoreman blush, Jim O’Connor, author of Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing (Three Rivers Press, 2000) and founder of the Cuss Control Academy, based in Northbrook, Ill., suggests that you pause and consider the consequences of your potty mouth.

“In the work environment, we all have frustrations and aggravations,” O’Connor says. “But it’s important to remain professional and have a can-do attitude.” At the Academy, O’Connor teaches his students – often first-time parents shocked by junior’s repetition of a naughty word or employees trying to kick the habit – that no matter how imaginative they are with their cursing, it will never earn them respect or admiration.

To help banish pernicious profanities from your vocabulary, O’Connor suggests choosing substitutes for your favourite oaths. We’d like to offer gadzooks, sakes alive and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle as excellent standbys.

Visit www.cusscontrol.com.