What the F

What the F

What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves

eBook - 2016
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"Everyone swears. Only the rare individual can avoid ever letting slip an expletive, whether after a few cocktails, a stubbed toe, or in flagrante delicto. And yet at the same time, we all accept all limits on swearing--tacitly, through censorship, and actively, as we hold our tongues around children in the vain effort to shield them. We even punish children for uttering, in passing, the very same words that we use to release tension, express pain, or inflame passions. Swearing is the part of us that we selectively deny. We rely on it to express emotions and cement social relations while at the same time we act as though it didn't exist. In What the F, language and cognition expert Benjamin Bergen reveals new insights into how the brain computes language, how people avoid making speech errors ("Freudian slips"), and what determines a child's first word. The study of swearing reveals that the brain has more than one way to produce language, enabling, for example, people with aphasia from strokes, who are typically unable to communicate, to nevertheless still say "fuck" when upset--but not when they are asked to say it. In turn, other types of brain damage leave people unable to swear when upset even as they can still speak normally. Clearly there's a lot we can learn by sifting through some shit. Don't know dick? It's time you became acquainted. In this groundbreaking book, Bergen shows us how and why we swear, and reveals to us the wondrous workings of the brain in the process"-- Provided by publisher.
"Smart as hell and funny as fuck, this book explains why we can't stop swearing and what it tells us about our language and brains. Everyone swears. Only the rare individual can avoid ever letting slip an expletive. And yet, we ban the words from television and insist that polite people excise them from their vocabularies. That's a fucking shame. Not only is swearing colorful, fun, and often powerfully apt, as linguist and cognitive scientist Benjamin K. Bergen shows us, the study of it can provide a new window onto how our brains process language. How can patients left otherwise speechless after a stroke still shout out "Goddamn!"? Why did Pope Francis say "fuck" in the middle of a speech? When did a cock cease to be a rooster? Why is "crap" vulgar when "poo" is just childish? And what are we shooting when we give someone the bird? What the F? Let me effing tell you"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2016
ISBN: 9780465096480
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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coloradobuck Jan 18, 2017

This book was filled with a ton of studies - it contained a lot of information about what is considered a swear word and where it is considered a swear word - I enjoyed the section that explained that people swear because swearing is deeply tied to our emotions. Wish it had more info on "why people swear" instead of "this is what we found by studying swearing". Very clinical.

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