Swearing Is Good For You The Amazing Science Of Bad Language

Author: Emma Byrne
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 1324000295
Size: 24.91 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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An irreverent and impeccably researched defense of our dirtiest words. We’re often told that swearing is outrageous or even offensive, that it’s a sign of a stunted vocabulary or a limited intellect. Dictionaries have traditionally omitted it and parents forbid it. But the latest research by neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, and others has revealed that swear words, curses, and oaths—when used judiciously—can have surprising benefits. In this sparkling debut work of popular science, Emma Byrne examines the latest research to show how swearing can be good for you. With humor and colorful language, she explores every angle of swearing—why we do it, how we do it, and what it tells us about ourselves. Not only has some form of swearing existed since the earliest humans began to communicate, but it has been shown to reduce physical pain, to lower anxiety, to prevent physical violence, to help trauma victims recover language, and to promote human cooperation. Taking readers on a whirlwind tour through scientific experiments, historical case studies, and cutting-edge research on language in both humans and other primates, Byrne defends cursing and demonstrates how much it can reveal about different cultures, their taboos and their values. Packed with the results of unlikely and often hilarious scientific studies—from the “ice-bucket test” for coping with pain, to the connection between Tourette’s and swearing, to a chimpanzee that curses at her handler in sign language—Swearing Is Good for You presents a lighthearted but convincing case for the foulmouthed.

Swearing Is Good For You

Author: Dr. Emma Byrne
Publisher: House of Anansi
ISBN: 1487001789
Size: 12.83 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Did you know that chimpanzees can swear? Or that we do most of our swearing in our first language? Have you ever noticed that swearing is an excellent painkiller? In delightfully fun and accessible language, backed by riveting historical case studies and the latest cutting-edge research, Dr. Emma Byrne explores the science behind swearing and why bad language might actually be good for us. Swearing, it turns out, is socially and emotionally essential. Not only has some form of swearing been around since the earliest humans began to communicate, but it has been shown to reduce physical pain, prevent violence, help stroke victims recover their language, and help people work together as a team. Swearing Is Good For You is a fascinating and fun look at the new science of bad language.

Swearing Is Good For You

Author: Emma Byrne
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1782832181
Size: 77.76 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Swearing, it turns out, is an incredibly useful part of our linguistic repertoire. Not only has some form of swearing existed since the earliest humans began to communicate, but it has been shown to reduce physical pain, help stroke victims recover their language, and encourage people to work together as a team. Swearing Is Good For You is a spirited and hilarious defence of our most cherished dirty words, backed by historical case studies and cutting-edge research. From chimpanzees creating their own curse words to a man who lost half his brain in a mining accident experiencing a new-found compulsion to swear, Dr Emma Byrne outlines the fascinating science behind swearing: how it affects us both physically and emotionally, and how it is more natural and beneficial than we are led to believe.

What The F

Author: Benjamin K. Bergen
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465096484
Size: 36.53 MB
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It may be starred, beeped, and censored--yet profanity is so appealing that we can't stop using it. In the funniest, clearest study to date, Benjamin Bergen explains why, and what that tells us about our language and brains. Nearly everyone swears-whether it's over a few too many drinks, in reaction to a stubbed toe, or in flagrante delicto. And yet, we sit idly by as words are banned from television and censored in books. We insist that people excise profanity from their vocabularies and we punish children for yelling the very same dirty words that we'll mutter in relief seconds after they fall asleep. Swearing, it seems, is an intimate part of us that we have decided to selectively deny. That's a damn shame. Swearing is useful. It can be funny, cathartic, or emotionally arousing. As linguist and cognitive scientist Benjamin K. Bergen shows us, it also opens a new window onto how our brains process language and why languages vary around the world and over time. In this groundbreaking yet ebullient romp through the linguistic muck, Bergen answers intriguing questions: How can patients left otherwise speechless after a stroke still shout Goddamn! when they get upset? When did a cock grow to be more than merely a rooster? Why is crap vulgar when poo is just childish? Do slurs make you treat people differently? Why is the first word that Samoan children say not mommy but eat shit? And why do we extend a middle finger to flip someone the bird? Smart as hell and funny as fuck, What the F is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to know how and why we swear.

Holy Sh T

Author: Melissa Mohr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199742677
Size: 24.74 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A humorous, trenchant and fascinating examination of how Western culture's taboo words have evolved over the millennia

Black Sheep

Author: Richard Stephens
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781473610842
Size: 15.13 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Richard Stephens became the focus of international media attention in 2009 for his research on the psychological benefits of swearing as a response to pain. Now, fresh from winning the 2014 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, Richard's first popular science book uncovers other pieces of surprising and occasionally bizarre scientific enquiry showing that what we at first perceive as bad can, in fact, be good. More pub conversation than science book, Richard's writing style is very accessible - both engaging and humorous. Think wasting time is bad? Not always! Research shows that taking time out can help you solve difficult problems. And if you can't be bothered tidying up, well fine, research shows that people are more creative in a messy environment. Swearing is rude but research shows that in some situations it can be a form of politeness. Swearing can also be used as a tool of persuasion. Black Sheep casts a slant on a range of human experiences from life to death, sex to romance, from speed thrills to halting boredom and from drinking alcohol (in moderation) to headily excessive bad language. This is a fascinating left-field tour of the world of psychological science. Get ready for the many hidden benefits of being bad that you really won't have seen coming.

Cuss Control

Author: James O'Connor
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9780595835331
Size: 10.98 MB
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FINALLY-THE CURE FOR THE COMMON CURSE! Faced with an epidemic of profanity, our country is in need of practical suggestions for breaking a habit that has ordinary citizens contributing to the decline of civility and good manners. It's not always easy to resist the urge to cuss, but foul language creates an unfavorable image, is damaging to relationships, and goes hand-in-hand with a negative attitude. Now, James V. O'Connor-founder of the Cuss Control Academy-offers the first book to explain why we swear and how we can learn to hold our tongues. Cuss Control doesn't call for the total elimination of swearing, just for its confinement to situations where extreme emotion (think hammer, think thumb) demand it. His program for easing us off the gutter-talk highway involves alternative "potent phrases" for classic curses, including the F-word; ways to communicate clearly rather than use lazy language; and tips on adjusting our attitude and abolishing obscenities. Packed with practical exercises and tips, as well as thoughtful reflection on how we've worked ourselves up into such a state of affairs, Cuss Control is a refreshing celebration of the joys of a civil tongue. "O'Connor is not ready to rid the world of dirty words. He just thinks less cursing is the key to a less stressful world, and maintains that even natural-born cursers can learn to control their anger along with their language." -Knight-Ridder Newspapers

In Praise Of Profanity

Author: Michael Adams
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199337586
Size: 68.69 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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When President Obama signed the affordable health care act in 2009, the Vice President was overheard to utter an enthusiastic "This is a big f****** deal!" A town in Massachusetts levies $20 fines on swearing in public. Nothing is as paradoxical as our attitude toward swearing and "bad language": how can we judge profanity so harshly in principle, yet use it so frequently in practice? Though profanity is more acceptable today than ever, it is still labeled as rude, or at best tolerable only under specific circumstances. Cursing, many argue, signals an absence of character, or poor parenting, and is something to avoid at all costs. Yet plenty of us are unconcerned about the dangers of profanity; bad words are commonly used in mainstream music, Academy Award-winning films, books, and newspapers. And of course, regular people use them in conversation every day. In In Praise of Profanity, Michael Adams offers a provocative, unapologetic defense of profanity, arguing that we've oversimplified profanity by labeling it as taboo. Profanity is valuable, even essential, both as a vehicle of communication and an element of style. As much as we may deplore it in some contexts, we should celebrate it in others. Adams skillfully weaves together linguistic and psychological analyses of why we swear-for emotional release, as a way to promote group solidarity, or to create intimate relationships -- with colorful examples of profanity in literature, TV, film, and music, such as The Sopranos, James Kelman's How Late It Was, How Late, or the songs of Nellie McKay. This breezy, jargon-free book will challenge readers to reconsider the way they think about swearing.

Bad Language

Author: Edwin Battistella
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199883831
Size: 72.88 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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Is today's language at an all-time low? Are pronunciations like cawfee and chawklit bad English? Is slang like my bad or hook up improper? Is it incorrect to mix English and Spanish, as in Yo quiero Taco Bell? Can you write Who do you trust? rather than Whom do you trust? Linguist Edwin Battistella takes a hard look at traditional notions of bad language, arguing that they are often based in sterile conventionality. Examining grammar and style, cursing, slang, and political correctness, regional and ethnic dialects, and foreign accents and language mixing, Battistella discusses the strong feelings evoked by language variation, from objections to the pronunciation NU-cu-lar to complaints about bilingual education. He explains the natural desire for uniformity in writing and speaking and traces the association of mainstream norms to ideas about refinement, intelligence, education, character, national unity and political values. Battistella argues that none of these qualities is inherently connected to language. It is tempting but wrong, Battistella argues, to think of slang, dialects and nonstandard grammar as simply breaking the rules of good English. Instead, we should view language as made up of alternative forms of orderliness adopted by speakers depending on their purpose. Thus we can study the structure and context of nonstandard language in order to illuminate and enrich traditional forms of language, and make policy decisions based on an informed engagement. Re-examining longstanding and heated debates, Bad Language will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers engaged and interested in the debate over what constitutes proper language.

Expletive Deleted

Author: Ruth Wajnryb
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743287576
Size: 28.19 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Have we always "sworn like sailors"? Has creative cursing developed because we can't just slug people when they make us angry? And if such verbal aggression is universal, why is it that some languages (Japanese, for instance) supposedly do not contain any nasty words? Throughout the twentieth century there seems to have been a dramatic escalation in the use and acceptance of offensive language in English, both verbally and in print. Today it seems almost commonplace to hear the "f" word in casual conversation, and even on television. Just how have we become such a bunch of cursers and what does it tell us about our language and ourselves? In Expletive Deleted, linguist Ruth Wajnryb offers an entertaining yet thoroughly researched, lighthearted look at this development, seeking to reveal the etymologies of various terms and discover how what was once considered unfit-for-company argot has become standard fare. Wajnryb steps outside the confines of English in her search for answers, exploring whether offensive words in English are mirrored in other languages and examining cultural differences in the usage of dirty words. For instance, why is it that in some languages you can get away with intimating that a person and his camel are more than just good friends, while pouring scorn on a mother's morals guarantees you a seat on the next flight out? An amusing and idiosyncratic look at the power of words to shock, offend, insult, amuse, exaggerate, let off steam, establish relationships, and communicate deep-felt emotions, Expletive Deleted is a must-read for anyone who loves language -- or has ever stubbed a toe.