Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language

Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language

by Emma Byrne


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"Entertaining and thought-provoking…Byrne’s enthusiasm for her esoteric subject is contagious, damn it." —Melissa Dahl, New York Times Book Review

In this sparkling debut work of popular science, Emma Byrne examines the latest research to show how swearing can be good for you. She explores every angle of swearing—why we do it, how we do it, and what it tells us about ourselves. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393356656
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 159,228
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Emma Byrne has written on science, language, and society for the BBC, Science, the BMJ, the Financial Times, and Forbes. She lives in London.

Table of Contents

Introduction; What the Fuck Is Swearing? 1

1 The Bad Language Brain: Neuroscience and Swearing 21

2 "Fuck! That hurts." Pain and Swearing 46

3 Tourette's Syndrome, or Why This Chapter Shouldn't Be in This Book 66

4 Disciplinary Offense: Swearing in the Workplace 93

5 "You damn dirty ape." (Other) Primates that Swear 119

6 No Language for a Lady: Gender and Swearing 145

7 Schieße, Merde, Cachau: Swearing in Other Languages 170

Conclusion 199

Acknowledgments 202

Notes 203

Bibliography 215

Index 225

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