The Science of Swearing

Mar 30, 2018

Friday, cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen explains why we use swear words, why they’re so powerful, and how they work in our language and on our minds. (And we've bleeped the really bad ones.)

Benjamin Bergen is a cognitive scientist and he loves swearing. He actually studies it for a living. In a fascinating book, Bergen examines why we use swear words, why they’re so powerful, and how they work in our language and on our minds. Swearing, he says, can be useful, funny, and cathartic. It also helps us express the strongest human emotions. Bergen joins us, but don’t worry: we’ve bleeped all the swear words. (Rebroadcast)

Benjamin Bergen is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, where he directs the Language and Cognition Laboratory. His book is called What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves. It's out in paperback April 3. [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible].