In Praise of Profanity

In Praise of Profanity When President Obama signed the affordable health care act in the Vice President was overheard to utter an enthusiastic This is a big f deal A town in Massachusetts levies fines on swearing i

  • Title: In Praise of Profanity
  • Author: Michael Adams
  • ISBN: 9780199337583
  • Page: 218
  • Format: Hardcover
  • When President Obama signed the affordable health care act in 2009, the Vice President was overheard to utter an enthusiastic This is a big f deal A town in Massachusetts levies 20 fines on swearing in public Nothing is as paradoxical as our attitude toward swearing and bad language how can we judge profanity so harshly in principle, yet use it so frequentlyWhen President Obama signed the affordable health care act in 2009, the Vice President was overheard to utter an enthusiastic This is a big f deal A town in Massachusetts levies 20 fines on swearing in public Nothing is as paradoxical as our attitude toward swearing and bad language how can we judge profanity so harshly in principle, yet use it so frequently in practice Though profanity is acceptable today than ever, it is still labeled as rude, or at best tolerable only under specific circumstances Cursing, many argue, signals an absence of character, or poor parenting, and is something to avoid at all costs Yet plenty of us are unconcerned about the dangers of profanity bad words are commonly used in mainstream music, Academy Award winning films, books, and newspapers And of course, regular people use them in conversation every day In In Praise of Profanity, Michael Adams offers a provocative, unapologetic defense of profanity, arguing that we ve oversimplified profanity by labeling it as taboo Profanity is valuable, even essential, both as a vehicle of communication and an element of style As much as we may deplore it in some contexts, we should celebrate it in others Adams skillfully weaves together linguistic and psychological analyses of why we swear for emotional release, as a way to promote group solidarity, or to create intimate relationships with colorful examples of profanity in literature, TV, film, and music, such as The Sopranos, James Kelman s How Late It Was, How Late, or the songs of Nellie McKay This breezy, jargon free book will challenge readers to reconsider the way they think about swearing.

    One thought on “In Praise of Profanity”

    1. For an OUP title, I was expecting more. Adams is well versed and well read in the subject, which is to be expected. But to praise something like profanity without any defined norms or standards is an exercise in futility, the secularist's real f-word.

    2. Books about "bad words" must be very difficult to write. Adams, of course, makes a good case for not banning profanity, but demonstrating that it indeed has its place. The first part of the books spends some time defining profanity, obscenity, and vulgarity. It is almost as if searching for a word for it all is as difficult as preventing swearing. The discussion touches on many aspects of coarse language: intimacy, euphemism, and even class consciousness play into it. There is some analysis from [...]

    3. I won this book in a giveaway.This book was fascinating and it approached profanity and the act of swearing from angles that I had never considered. In Praise of Profanity is more than a celebration of "bad words" -- it's an examination of swearing as, among other things, a symbol of camaraderie, an expression of status, and an act of rebellion. Definitely recommended for anyone with an interest in language.

    4. “In 2014, Pope Francis, trying, in his weekly Vatican address, to say “in questo caso” (in this case), ended up saying “in questo cazzo” (in this fuck) instead. This was an understandable mistake. The two words are close, and the pope’s first language is not Italian. He corrected himself immediately.”in: nybooks/articles/2017/

    5. I write in praise of In Praise of Profanity. A look at profane, obscene, taboo language that is both fun and serious. The chapter Intimacy, Exceptionalism, and Having It Both Ways and its last few pages in particular are a great tribute to profanity's role as connector. Fuckin' A.It felt a little bogged down in the long cultural analyses in the last chapter. OTOH, I'm looking forward to reading the 1930s bathroom graffiti study in full!

    6. I would have given this 5, but I gave it 4 because the construction was slightly too arcane for me. Or perhaps I was just not intelligent enough or well-versed enough on the subject matter? Anyway, still a very entertaining and thought-provoking read.

    7. Really fun and interesting book that pulls on a variety of pop culture to make its case that profanity serves many purposes and ought not to be rejected out of hand. It does, however, get a bit bogged down in definitions and academic phrasing, which is still funny considering the subject matter.

    8. Really fun book! I'm still working through it, but overall, I like it. Much to the consternation of my in-laws and other gentle folks, I'm a big fan of profanity. I love the history of words and language, and as I write I like to explore different types of communication, too. Even as a therapist, I have come to understand the use of a well-placed "shit", and how this can be a moment or rapport building between an angry mom and a fed-up social worker. Adams has a good book here, and I can't wait [...]

    9. If you are at all interested in linguistics, monkeys throwing poop, or just fuck poop shit cunt ass bitch slut. Here is an in depth look at what makes words and language profane, euphemistic, or offensive. Extremely interesting. Swive!

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