New PDF release: What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our

By Benjamin K. Bergen

ISBN-10: 0465060919

ISBN-13: 9780465060917

Nearly each person swears—whether it’s over a number of too many beverages, in response to a stubbed toe, or in flagrante delicto. And but, we take a seat idly through as phrases are banned from tv and censored in books. We insist that folks excise profanity from their vocabularies and we punish kids for yelling the exact same soiled phrases that we’ll mutter in reduction seconds once they nod off. Swearing, it kind of feels, is an intimate a part of us that we have got determined to selectively deny.

That’s a rattling disgrace. Swearing turns out to be useful. it may be humorous, cathartic, or emotionally arousing. As linguist and cognitive scientist Benjamin ok. Bergen indicates us, it additionally opens a brand new window onto how our brains technique language and why languages differ world wide and over time.

In this groundbreaking but ebullient romp during the linguistic muck, Bergen solutions interesting questions: How can sufferers left differently speechless after a stroke nonetheless shout Goddamn! after they get disenchanted? whilst did a cock change into greater than in simple terms a chicken? Why is crap vulgar whilst poo is simply infantile? Do slurs make you deal with humans otherwise? Why is the 1st note that Samoan childrens say now not mommy yet eat shit? And why can we expand a center finger to turn somebody the bird?

Smart as hell and humorous as fuck, What the F is necessary interpreting for an individual who desires to know the way and why we swear.

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Read e-book online What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our PDF

Approximately all people swears—whether it’s over a number of too many beverages, in response to a stubbed toe, or in flagrante delicto. And but, we take a seat idly by means of as phrases are banned from tv and censored in books. We insist that individuals excise profanity from their vocabularies and we punish teenagers for yelling the exact same soiled phrases that we’ll mutter in aid seconds once they doze off.

Extra info for What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves

Sample text

You’re hoping to find the latter in the diaper. And here’s the thing. Once you get over the initial aversion, diaper contents actually turn out to be pretty darn interesting. If you love the child and are concerned about his well-being, it follows that you care about what goes in and, as a consequence, how it looks when it comes out. And that’s because there are things to learn about your infant by attending to the gross stuff that you just couldn’t know if you attended only to the appealing stuff, like smiles and cooing.

What would a world without profanity look like? How do taboos about language vary across the world’s languages and how are they similar? What does exposure to profanity do to our brains? What does it do to our children’s brains? How do slurs like nigger and faggot acquire their unequaled capacity to cause harm? What if anything can be done to remedy their impact on marginalized individuals and groups? Can we ban, censor, or reappropriate our way out of harmful words? Addressed with care and attention, these guiding questions can lead toward a cognitive science of profanity.

First, how can we tell which are the profane words in a language? Second, how similar is profanity in the languages of the world? Does it draw from the same sources? Are there languages without profanity at all? And third, when languages differ in how they treat profanity, does that tell us anything about the cultures in which they’re embedded? # $ % ! Finding out what words the people who speak a particular language think are profane is not a particularly challenging operation in principle. You just have to ask them.

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What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves by Benjamin K. Bergen


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