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Swearing Is Good For You
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The science of swearing: from neuroscience to swearing apes, why we swear, what it does to us and why it's important

About the Author

Dr Emma Byrne is a scientist, journalist, and public speaker. Her BBC Radio 4 'Four Thought' episode was selected as one of the 'Best of 2013' by the programme's editors. She has been selected as a British Science Association Media Fellow and for the BBC Expert Women Training, and is published in CIO, Forbes, the Financial Times and e-Health Insider. Swearing is Good For You is her first book.

Reviews

A good book about bad language by a trash-talking woman? Sign me up! Swearing Is Good for You makes science feel downright celebratory. -- Mary Norris, bestselling author of Between You & Me
An impressive catalogue of research showing how effing and blinding helps us deal with pain, bond with others, is associated with intelligence and makes us more inclined to trust each other... a glorious uplifting read. -- Lucy Kellaway * Financial Times *
Swearing has been the subject of considerable scientific analysis, it turns out, which Byrne's book deftly reviews...Swearing is stinky cheese and malbec in a world of clean eating. -- India Knight * The Sunday Times *
A chatty, humorously informative narrative that rummages through the science of bad language, grabbing at sociology, psychology, neuroscience and anthropology. -- Hephzibah Anderson * The Mail on Sunday *
This excellent book backs up my long-held theory that people who swear are generally less uptight or anxious than those who don't...I think the most joyous bit about this book is learning that swearing is a powerful and acceptable weapon in a woman's armoury, a strong signal that we don't have to adhere to old-fashioned, traditional views of what is "ladylike", a phrase I often hear when swearing is discussed in mixed-gender debates. -- Lorraine Candy * The Sunday Times Style *
Byrne is a science writer with a PhD in robotics and a gleefully robust attitude to language... Swearing Is Good For You is a lively defence of its subject. -- James McConnachie * The Sunday Times *
Entertaining and informative ... reminds you of the mysterious pleasure of using words that are not meant to be said. -- Andrew Anthony * Observer *
A lively examination of a neglected subject. * The Week *
The next time someone tells you off for swearing, give them a copy of this book. Byrne explains all the ways in which swearing is good for us, from pain relief to team bonding, and reveals what cursing chimpanzees can tell us about the origin of dirty words. * BBC Science Focus *

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