Coach G’s foul-mouthed students didn’t respond to punishment. Their profanity was reflexive. He decided to “raise students’ self-awareness of their language” so they could learn to regulate it. He announced a rule: Replace “f- – -” or “s- – -” with “peace” or “love” or a derivative thereof.
. . . the very day I introduced this “rule,” students ran with it. And not just any students, but some of the biggest offenders, who really got into calling classmates “mother lovers” or telling me I was “full of peace.” Better yet, when students slipped up, their classmates — not I — let them know: “you mean peace or love.” Even better, the offenders themselves soon began to acknowledge their slip-ups mid-sentence: “oops, my bad.”
When I was a kid, we said things like “H-e-double hockey sticks.” And, “Shoot, the dinosaur is charging!”