Dateline: Dickson, Tennessee, west of Nashville, where a movie theater showing a certain movie about a certain bright red dude with horns decided the name was a little too brash to put on a marquee facing a church, and so they decided to clean it up a little and advertised a showing of, and I quote, “Heckboy.”
Swearing is not for everyone, of course, but it does have one really big backer: a little thing we like to call science.
According to the delightful 2017 book Swearing Is Good For You by Emma Byrne, coworkers who swear together often are a more effective team than colleagues who don’t drop a few F and S bombs together.
And cursing can actually help you tolerate pain!
A professor Byrne writes about in her book convinced his students to do an experiment in which they stuck their hands in freezing cold water for as long as they could, with one condition: they could either say a swear word OR they could say a word from another list of non-swears.
The swearers were able to keep their hands in the icy water quite a bit longer than the non-swearers, and perceived less pain too.
This may be the explanation: expletives are connected to the part of our brains where emotions live.
If we swear, we bring out the emotions that can, in certain circumstances, act as a sort of painkiller.
So next time you accidentally slam your hand in a door or drop something on your foot, let the f-bombs fly. It’s for science.
Swearing is also increasingly a part of big time TV shows.
But most of the time they’re still a no-no, which leads to weird TV-friendly versions of movies where the swearing is replaced by strangeness.
Like the scene in the movie Pineapple Express where two characters argue over whether one of them qualifies as an unpleasant word that starts with A? On TV it goes like this:
“A casserole, that’s all you are, you’re a casserole.”
“I am NOT a casserole!”
Movie magic, isn’t it?
Swearing is Good for You (EmmaByrne.net)
Comically Bad TV Dubs and Edits (Mandatory.com)
No Swearing sign in Virginia Beach, VA photo by Mobilus in Mobil via Flickr/Creative Commons