Saturday, May 27, 2017

What the F

What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and OurselvesWhat the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves by Benjamin K. Bergen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What the F?! ...aka, what a perfect title for a book. Catchy and fun.

First thoughts: This book is super fun, especially to a sometimes sailor mouth (though most don't expect it). I always love having some background on my words, and knowing where the 4-letter ones came from (and why we call them that) only makes them more interesting. There were a few technical parts that I skimmed, but for the most part I was super into reading about how language itself forms and changes.

Profane thoughts: One of the best parts of reading a book about swearing is getting to swear a lot (at least in your head, though I also took extra liberty with reading passages out loud to Jesus). Another good part - finding out how profanity follows specific patterns, even across languages, yet also does its own thing. Did you know your brain reacts differently when it hears swears versus non-swears? We process cursing differently than we do non-profane language. So cool.

Censored thoughts: While I'm keeping this review profanity-free, I also don't condone censorship. Of course, you have to know where you're at and who your audience is, but on the whole, eliminating words doesn't help anything. Listening to others, trying not to offend, and using words that others prefer (specifically in the case of slurs - arguable the most offensive profane words) - these things help us connect with others in ways that censorship doesn't.

Recommended for: Parents and teachers. Wordies, linguists, bibliophiles. Potty mouths and prudes.

Final thoughts: Profanity isn't good or bad. It is what we make it...swear if you wanna, don't if you don't. :)

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment