(Note: Strong language contained in quotes in paragraph 3)

By Sarah McBride

Famously salty-tongued Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz says she is trying to cut down on the expletives she uses “because people make so much of it.”

She said her swearing was “honest” language used to make a point, and she considered it more acceptable than “dirty” or gratuitous swearing. If she were male, nobody would pay much attention to it, she told Reuters on the sidelines of the Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California. on Tuesday.

Bartz caught flak earlier this year for telling Michael Arrington, editor of the TechCrunch blog, to “fuck off” during a TechCrunch conference. Arrington had asked if her marketing pitch about Yahoo relative to Google was “BS.”  In a conference call with analysts last year, she spoke out about problems with the company’s management structure, saying that “nobody is fucking doing anything.”

In a panel earlier at the conference, Bartz also said that leadership “involves a certain amount of acting…. You act patient when you want to punch the guy out… You act confident when you’re not.”

Photo credit: Reuters (Bartz visits Reuters New York newsroom, September 2010)