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What the F
What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves | Benjamin Bergen
Smart as hell and funny as fuck, this book explains why we cant stop swearing and what it tells us about our language and brains. Everyone swears. Only the rare individual can avoid ever letting slip an expletive. And yet, we ban the words from television and insist that polite people excise them from their vocabularies. Thats a fucking shame. Not only is swearing colorful, fun, and often powerfully apt, as linguist and cognitive scientist Benjamin K. Bergen shows us, the study of it can provide a new window onto how our brains process language. How can patients left otherwise speechless after a stroke still shout out Goddamn!? Why did Pope Francis say fuck in the middle of a speech? When did a cock cease to be a rooster? Why is crap vulgar when poo is just childish? And what are we shooting when we give someone the bird? What the F? Let me effing tell you.
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Daisey
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Pickpick

I don‘t tend to swear much, but I find books about swearing just as fascinating as other aspects of language. This one includes some interesting discussion of gestures in addition to spoken language and quite a bit about how the brain works in relation to profanity.

#audiobook #nonfiction

JazzFeathers Well, this sounds surprisingly fascinating. 1mo
Daisey @JazzFeathers Not sure what it says about me, but I‘m getting a collection of similar books on my Goodreads linguistics shelf. 😂 🤷‍♀️ 1mo
JazzFeathers @Daisey 😂😂😂 1mo
47 likes1 stack add3 comments
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REPollock
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Pickpick

I think I would‘ve enjoyed this book in hardcopy format, but I absolutely loved the audiobook. Hilarious look at profanity from a linguist‘s perspective, full of interesting history and facts about words some of us use all the time.

Highly recommend for erudite pottymouths.

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REPollock
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This is perhaps unintentionally hilarious as an audiobook.

LibrarianRyan I might need to read this. 2y
REPollock @LibrarianRyan I‘m sure the paper version is just as informative, but the audiobook is hilarious. The guy reading it is so enthusiastic about linguistic rules for profanity. 2y
16 likes2 comments
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REPollock
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Next audiobook! My first audiobook of the pandemic.

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Megabooks
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Pickpick

This is a systematic look at swearing from a linguistic, grammatical, historical and social perspective. I feel I‘ve gotten a whole college intro course on swearing in these 8 hours. He mainly focuses on the English-speaking world but does cover a bit in other languages. This was a passion project for him, and you can tell.

Obviously there is a lot of cursing in the book, including derogatory slang from an academic perspective. FYI 4⭐️ #audiobook

TheAromaofBooks Great review!! Such a random topic, but I think nonfiction books about random stuff are a lot of fun. 2y
Megabooks @TheAromaofBooks they are! I think that‘s why I picked this up a few years ago! 2y
Amandajoy I‘m pretty sure I have this one on audio. It was probably an Audible sale. I‘ll have to put it in the queue. 2y
Megabooks @Amandajoy that‘s where I picked it up - Audible sale. I hope you enjoy it! 2y
104 likes6 stack adds5 comments
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Megabooks
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Finally getting around to posting my #bookspin and #doublespin. I had a horrible trip to the dentist this morning!! I‘ve been in bed all day.

Anyway, I added all these physical books and ebooks to my list...and still ended up with two #audiobooks! 🎧🎧😂😂

Cinfhen Sorry about the dental disaster 😞but your tagged book sounds amazing!!! I have SUCH a pouty mouth 🙊🙊I might need to add this book to my long list of “Megabook” recommendations ❣️ 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen thank you friend! My dentist was rough. He usually isn‘t, so I was disappointed. I have a potty mouth too!! I think that‘s why I picked it up. 😁😁🤬🤬 2y
Cinfhen Ha.... autocorrect changed POTTY to POUTY 😆I definitely have a POTTY mouth not pouty 💕 2y
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Megabooks @Cinfhen well fuck! But I still understood you fine! 😉😘 2y
Cinfhen Hehehehe 😆🤣😂 2y
Suet624 I hope you feel better soon. 2y
Crazeedi @Megabooks sorry you had a bad day, hope today is a good one! 💖 2y
Megabooks @Suet624 thank you! 🥰 2y
Megabooks @Crazeedi I‘ve been up all night. I totally have my days and nights mixed up at this point. 😂😂 🤞🏻🤞🏻 things normalize soon. I wrote more in my letter. 2y
TheAromaofBooks Sorry about your terrible dentist appointment!! I did think it was pretty funny that you ended up with audiobooks after all! 2y
Megabooks @TheAromaofBooks I‘m finally feeling better. 👍🏻 it is funny about the audiobooks!! 🤦🏻‍♀️😂🎧 2y
UwannaPublishme Oh my! Hope you‘re feeling better. ❤️You may find a few choice words for your dentist in your #double spin book! 😆 2y
Megabooks @UwannaPublishme thanks, I am!! He was in a hurry, and I need more time because of my neck and such....but you never know!! I do enjoy cursing more than the rest of my family. 😂😂 2y
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dariazeoli
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A beautiful afternoon so I took the new iPhone for a walk. The XR is a huge upgrade from my 6!

Still listening to the tagged book. I‘m finding it fascinating!
#litsywalkers #audioread

DivineDiana What do you think of the XR? 3y
tpixie How are you adjusting to the size??
3y
dariazeoli @DivineDiana It‘s so fast and the battery is awesome! 3y
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dariazeoli @tpixie Not too badly! I spend so much time with my iPad Mini that I guess my hands are familiar 3y
Cinfhen I think I need to upgrade my phone too!!! My battery is SHIT 3y
DivineDiana Thank you! Sounds like you‘re happy with it! 3y
Liz_M I don't want to jinx it, but it may finally be spring in NYC/NJ! 3y
66 likes9 comments
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dariazeoli
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My Current Reads as April begins. I‘m audioreading the tagged book, which adds an extra dash of paranoia in the work break room. What if my headphones come loose and everyone hears the scientific reasons we say fuck and shit? 😬

#leioapp #currentreads

Crinoline_Laphroaig I always worry when I'm listening to Audiobook and there's a sex scene. 😆 3y
dariazeoli @Crinoline_Laphroaig Been there, too 😁 3y
63 likes2 comments
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DyAnne
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I‘m leading the discussion on this book at my book group‘s January meeting. Yes, I choose it. 😊 I‘m fascinated by language and love a good potty-mouth.

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NovelGirl82
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Seriously Google- How do I roll my eyes, but FOREVER??!! 🙄

wtimblin Too funny 4y
sprainedbrain Hahahahaha! 4y
17 likes2 comments
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JenReadsAlot
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Pickpick

Not a book for those offended by swearing. Entertaining and informative look at swearing and slurs in English and other languages. #audio

mrozzz 👍🏻 4y
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mrozzz
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“If you believe something is bad, like profanity, but don‘t really have a good reason why, then you might be strongly attracted to explanations that would justify your belief. If profanity increases aggression that justifies your belief that profanity is bad. This sort of reasoning from back to front, leads people to overlook logical weaknesses in an argument as long as it supports something they already believe.”

LazyDays 👏 4y
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mrozzz
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Pickpick

Not what I expected! While aggression does come up as a reason people swear— points like swearing may help you better tolerate pain, were totally fascinating. Bergen even delves into verbal & sign language around the world and how visual cues & stress can vary the effectiveness of our “inner editor”, meaning how we might be able to mess up a word because it sounds like a sexual word we‘re trying to avoid, or genuinely making a technical mistake.

JenReadsAlot I'm listening to this on audio right now! 4y
mrozzz I loved it! I learned so much about linguistics which I didn‘t know I did not know. You know?! @JenReadsAlot 4y
Slajaunie So interesting that I stacked it! 4y
JenReadsAlot I know! It's enjoyable so far. 4y
93 likes11 stack adds4 comments
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purebugbeauty72
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Up next...

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TheCanuckReader
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I just popped into goodreads and all of my shelves were empty. Please tell me this is a maintenance thing before I freak out. ..lol #wtf #mywholereadinghistoryisthere

ohyeahthatgirl My shelf count is 0 but all my books are there. It's hopefully a glitch they're working on. 4y
Jess7 Ugh oh! I‘m not sure. I didnt notice if my shelves were empty. I‘ll check. My #goodreads handle is https://www.goodreads.com/thegreeneyedreader 4y
Jess7 Nope, mine are still there so far! 🤞🏼 4y
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Moray_Reads Mine are there but the count shows 0. It's just one thing after another with GR lately 😬 4y
Mdargusch That is so scary. 4y
Librariana Yup... I'm on the SAME BOAT. Shelves are there... but they're all at 0 and I have NO idea what's going on 😔😕😣 4y
TheCanuckReader Freaking me out! Glad its not just me 4y
TheCanuckReader Just checked goodreads twitter feed. Lots of people having the same prob but no word from goodreads 4y
KassKho @TheCanuckReader can you take a look at the email I sent you? Thanks! 4y
35 likes9 comments
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cathysaid
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I understand that there are many niche and/or fringe genres out there...but this has to be one of the most absurd. Right?!?!? Please tell me I'm right.

And frankly, it's the "fifteen worst" part that concerns me. Who determined that among such sites, these were the worst? Was there a control group? What were the parameters? Bad acting? A lack of character development? OSHA violations?

#WTactualF #ineedanswers

Utopiyll 😂😂😂 I laughed so hard just then. And the book cover, oh my god! 4y
RealLifeReading 😂😂😂😂 4y
mcipher That looooong story title is just... 😂😂😂 4y
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cathysaid @mcipher Right?!? That might be the funniest part of all 😜 4y
cathysaid @Utopiyll @RealLifeReading Bizarrely hilarious, isn't it? 4y
mcipher So now who is going to read it? I feel like someone has to! 😳 4y
cathysaid @mcipher I do not think I have the literary fortitude to undertake such an endeavor 😷 4y
mcipher Me neither. 😂 4y
DGRachel @mcipher @cathysaid I took one for the team last year and read the #tentacleporn. It‘s definitely someone else‘s turn. 😂😂 4y
44 likes9 comments
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mjdowens
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Either I am drunk or I totally took this quiz wrong😂😂😂😂

batsy I got the same result 😇😂 4y
LeahBergen 😂😂 That‘s how I felt about this quiz. 4y
mjdowens My husband even cracked up at what I got. He asked how I managed to get the quiz to lie for me😂😂 4y
33 likes3 comments
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Chelleo
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Me today when I couldn't get into Litsy! #litsycrash2017

Karkar 🤣🤣🤣🤣 5y
EchoLogical Same!! I thought it was just me. I checked for updates and tried logging out and back in and everything. Lol 5y
cleoh Yes!!! It was so annoying! I was trying to post something too, and ended up posting it twice 😂 5y
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hermyknee It happened to most of us! It even has its own hashtag #LitsyCrash2017 😋🙃😬 (edited) 5y
Susannah Did you see the note from Litsy admins regarding the problem with the Amazon host? The company I work for uses Amazon to host production servers, and they can randomly knock something down; it's just a matter of ensuring that server redundancy has been prepared for. The problem today might have been totally different, but I was glad the outage wasn't too long! 😬 (edited) 5y
WhatDeeReads I was not a happy camper. Thankfully I had a Christmas party to attend. 5y
Chelleo @EchoLogical @cleoh @hermyknee @Susannah @WhatDeeReads I was a mess. Rebooted my phone a few times, kept trying to refresh and getting annoyed when I kept seeing the same post. At least I got some Christmas shopping and wrapping time followed by a holiday party at a friend's. I appreciated the msg but I still kept refreshing 🤣😂🤣 5y
EchoLogical @Chelleo Me too. I ended up going out with my husband for his early birthday dinner but after that I kept trying, like "haven't they fixed this yet???" ? 5y
118 likes8 comments
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diovival
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I'm 😡. I've been struggling with the digital galley for The Gone World and then this morning I get this message. Super frustrating because it's such a good read. Fuuuuuuuu.....

Cinfhen Sorry 😣 5y
Kaye I‘m not sure if it‘s the same thing , but it wouldn‘t mean Hoopla , would it ? Mine started messing up last night. I finally got it to work just a little bit ago. It kept saying something like you can‘t access this item. I forget exactly. Any book I tried said the same thing. Hope you get yours sorted out. 5y
diovival @Cinfhen Thanks. I don't understand why the publisher would make the book expire. Booooo ☹️ 5y
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diovival @Kaye Not Hoopla. If only! I was reading it on my Nook app. 5y
Cinfhen I was able to get GWTW for free through IBooks ...check it out! 5y
diovival @Cinfhen Nice! Does that work on Android? 5y
Cinfhen I‘m not really sure...I‘m thinking maybe not because IBooks is through Apple ?!? 😞 5y
34 likes7 comments
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angelle123
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Everything you ever wanted to know about profanity and more! Also, it's kind of fun to walk around public places wearing headphones and listen to someone list off a bunch of expletives, some classics and some totally new to me ;) #pottymouth #audiobook

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ValkyrieAndHerBooks
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Pickpick

Oh what a month! A bit slower on the reads than usual. But, with all the craziness, (aka a flip flopping schedule, a friend's wedding, family obligations, & PRIDE month) I think I did pretty well!

The laurels for my #BestOfJune go to #WhatTheF by #BenjaminKBergen a highly entertaining, educational, and enlightening read! @RealLifeReading

BTW, the macaroons are from my friend's bakery, Fillings & Emulsions in SLC, Ut. They're AMAZEBALLS 😋

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swishandflick
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With no central air in my Brooklyn brownstone, I couldn't agree more with #WTForecast 😂

Hollie Best one I've seen so far! 5y
Buddys_Momma 😂😂😂😂 5y
swishandflick Right?! I'm gonna start using this expression 😂 @Hollie @Buddys_Momma 5y
64 likes3 comments
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Susanita
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Just a quick check of email before tuning out for the night and I see this! Had to share with someone!

erinreads That makes no sense, though. Metro is only a threat to the people riding it, not to motorcades driving near it. 😜 5y
Susanita @erinreads I showed this message to some coworkers today, and we're all kind of baffled by it. 5y
10 likes2 comments
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jessicarenee
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Book on Tap book club!! 🍺📖 (we meet monthly at a local brewery and it's awesome. I'm sure this book will prompt some interesting discussion!)

Jess_Read_This This sounds like a book I need to read... 5y
mcipher I now desperately want to find/start a book on tap club. Love it!! 5y
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ValkyrieAndHerBooks
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this scientific exploration of profanity and its relationship with our society, psychology, and biology!

Lcsmcat That sounds fascinating! 5y
JanuarieTimewalker13 Does it say you can be kind, compassionate, yet still have a potty mouth? Pleas tell me yes. Lol 5y
Iamlisa22 I should have this book... carry it with me at all times... and just flash the cover 20 times a day instead of saying it out loud!! Lol 5y
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JanuarieTimewalker13 @Iamlisa22 hahahahahahaha!!!! Thank you, I loved that comment! 5y
ValkyrieAndHerBooks @Lcsmcat It really is! I was fully engrossed, start to finish! @JanuarieTimewalker13 Yes! It does! In fact, it's healthy to swear! @Iamlisa22 That would be glorious! 😂 5y
JanuarieTimewalker13 Oh, I'm relieved, thank you! @ValkyrieAndHerBooks (edited) 5y
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Handmade_Redhead
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Pickpick

This was a good listen. I did speed it up a little though. It was interesting to hear about the history, psychology, and etymology of swearing. I thought it would be dry at first, but I ended up enjoying it. Swearing is something I enjoy across hobbies. I just need to finish my F in my WTF cross stitch.

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kissxxmyxxconverse
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Pickpick

I'm really feeling non-fiction as of late. I've been listening to this one, and it's great, but still kind of jarring. He goes into what power profanity has in the English language, and why. I have a pretty high tolerance for cuss words, but the racial slurs were hard to hear. It's a great book, but I'd still give that warning

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Ashley_Nicoletto
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Mehso-so

While this book is interesting and full of ideas and facts that I'd never considered it just didn't grip me like I'd hoped. I found myself drifting, listening to the radio instead, or looking for a new audiobook. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

AThousandLives87 This book is in my mount #TBR !!! Thanks for the heads up! 5y
42 likes1 comment
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MatchlessMarie
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Post voting library haul.

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Minispok
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Robothugs All good things. All good things. That's what it reveals. 😂 5y
LaraReads Hmm. Very interested to know what this reveals about my brain! 😹 5y
53 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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SGJ
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Just starting this one. Profanity's always fascinated me. I'm terrible with using it—I always want to giggle and look around if I say some, or hear some—but the phenomenon of it, yeah. Gonna be a cool listen/read, I think.

69 likes3 stack adds
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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I am proud to say I have a potty mouth. Okay, maybe not proud but I have learned the cathartic value of a few well-placed swear words. So I'm interested to see what this linguist can teach me about swearing! 🗣🗣

Oblomov26 Yep saw this and immediately purchased 5y
LectricSheep I read somewhere that people who swear freely are more honest and dependable! ✋🏻 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @LectricSheep I like that! I also read that swearing loudly reduces pain. Seriously, I did! 🤚🏻 5y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage @Oblomov26 Ah, a fellow potty mouth! 5y
Oblomov26 @BarbaraTheBibliophage word lover and occasional potty mouth. I swear when I think it will have an effect 😉 5y
ptkpepe98 I am looking forward to hearing more, dammit!😉 5y
cathysaid I claim that I'm simply being efficient, as the word "fuck" can be used in multiple ways! 5y
Ashley_Nicoletto Thanks for sharing! I am also a person who swears freely. Bought this as soon as I saw your post. 5y
Arbol Oh I am proud. Perversely proud but proud nonetheless. 5y
2BR02B I agree with being proud of your potty mouth. Studies have shown swearing correlates with being more articulate and having a larger vocabulary. ☺ 5y
Handmade_Redhead I didn't know i wanted this book until i saw this post. Now i have this book! 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Oblomov26 I treat them pretty much the same way. If you swear all the time it's the same to your listeners as saying chair, book, or darn. 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @ptkpepe98 LOL - I was going to say the same thing! 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @cathysaid It's a multi-purpose word! 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Arbol @2BR02B We should be proud to be proud! 5y
minkyb and proud of it! 5y
britt_brooke 🙋🏼 5y
BethM This looks fun! I could use some evidence to shut my husband up about my swearing 😂 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @BethM I'm hoping for the exact same thing. He says "phooey" and I let the real word fly! ???? 5y
Cinfhen I'm a proud member of the club! It does feel good to let those words out sometimes ❤️❤️❤️ 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen Ahh. I knew I liked you for a reason! 😜💕 5y
103 likes10 stack adds22 comments
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SarahMillerBooks
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I have a degree in linguistics and, occasionally, a bit of a potty mouth. Perfect.

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802Librarian
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I've basically been awake since 2am. I cried this morning. But I am also grateful that I live in a small town that voted heavily for Clinton. I will continue to run my library with an open mind and a sense of humor. And I will welcome anyone that comes through the door and provide them with help and knowledge.

megt Sending love your way. Thank you for this and for the work that you do. 6y
Suet624 Are you anywhere near Norwich VT? 6y
802Librarian @Suet624 Yup! About 25-ish minutes away. 6y
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Suet624 I travel south from northern VT to visit a friend in Norwich. It would be fun to get together sometime for coffee. 6y
802Librarian @Suet624 Sounds like a fine plan 😀 6y
Graciouswarriorprincess Wonderful! Sending love and hope for all! 6y
20 likes6 comments
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Thedrunkstrawberry
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More radio west reads that I must add to my to-read list!!

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Pixielit

A neurolinguistic perspective of profanity

keithmalek Try explaining the neuro linguistic perspective of this kid. https://medium.com/the-haven/foul-mouthed-child-loves-taste-of-soap-parents-puzz... 2y
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