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

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Read What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves Online Free - 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.

Title : What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0465060919
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Carlos rated it ★★★☆☆

April 24, 2017

Finally!!!! I finished this one ... not much to say after 6 days of no reading .... this book is mostly a study of how society perceives slurs and how the definition of slurs have changed over the years , this is not a study on swear words per se ... so a little too technical for a theme that I d...

Petra rated it ★★★★☆

September 14, 2016

A really interesting exploration of profanity. This is for anybody who is interested in language, cultural norms and differences, social psychology, or cognitive and neurosciences. Benjamin K. Bergen provides some remarkable evidence-based arguments. His examination of profanity's alleged harm to...

11811 (Eleven) rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 28, 2017

I'm giving up on this one. I've been trying to finish it for months even though some small part of me always suspected this might not be as awesome as I had hoped. It wasn't predetermined suspicion but I had to wonder why there should be a 288 page book covering this bit of trivia. The informatio...

Charlene rated it ★★★★☆

April 24, 2017

It took a few chapters to get into the book because the author set a less than serious tone from the offset. I thought he was going to try joking his way through a book about cursing, which didn't seem particularly interesting to me. However, when he finally got into the neuro and cognitive (ling...

Atila rated it ★★★★☆

April 08, 2017

Nunca tinha pensado na importância dos xingamentos e o que eles expressam. Descobri que em alguns casos de AVC, por exemplo, alguém pode perder a capacidade da fala (se acontece no hemisfério esquerdo do cérebro) mas ainda conseguir xingar (quem controla isso é o hemisfério direito). Um ótimo livr...

Jay rated it ★★★★★

August 08, 2016

DISCLAIMER: This review contains profanities and offensive words. This is purely a part of a professional way of analysing language and by no means meant to offend anyone! Thank you for understanding! :) What the F by Benjamin Bergen is an excellent read for anyone interested in gaining a deeper...

Stacey rated it ★★★★☆

July 24, 2016

Fascinating book for anyone interested in linguistics or sociology and social norms. This book takes an in depth look at why some words are socially unacceptable and how these words came to be considered profanities in the first place. I loved that this book examined the cultural differences that...

Barb rated it ★★★★☆

April 30, 2017

Oh my gosh, this was so fun, English majors and other geeks with potty mouths will enjoy Benjamin K Bergen's enlightenment on the topic of swearing. There's so much interesting stuff packed into this book that I have a hard time focusing on what the highlights were. I listened to the audio book a...

Orsolya rated it ★★★★☆

March 03, 2017

Some of the most fascinating areas to ponder are those which break down and decimate the facets in life which we take for granted. These revelations demonstrate how remarkable the simplest of things can be. What is one of the most common day-to-day, minute-by-minute actions we brush aside? Langua...

JC rated it ★☆☆☆☆

November 02, 2016

There are very few books that I uave abandoned, this was one of them. The subject matter is fascinating, the discussions and theories compelling, and it was all easy to understand. That being said, it was very repetitive, so mch so that I started skimming each paragraph to see if new material was...

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