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The Science of Swearing

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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. Friday, we’re airing that conversation, 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 new book is called What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves [Amazon|Indiebound|Audible].

Benjamin Bergen is a cognitive scientist and he loves swearing. He actually studies it for a living. In a fascinating new 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. Doug spoke with Bergen earlier this week, and Thursday we’re airing that conversation. But don’t worry: we’ve bleeped all the swear words.

Benjamin Bergen is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, where he directs the Language and Cognition Laboratory. His new book is called What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves [Amazon|Indiebound].

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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