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Benjamin Bergen - "What the F"

Benjamin Bergen - "What the F"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 7:30pm PDT

7812 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Warwick's is hosting Benjamin Bergen on Tuesday, September 13th at 7:30pm to discuss and sign his new book What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Our BrainsBenjamin Bergen is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, where he directs the Language and Cognition Laboratory. He writes for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today and appears on NPR's Morning Edition, the Brain Science Podcast, and elsewhere.This event is free and open to the public. Reserved Seating is available. Only books purchased from Warwick's will be signed. Please call the Warwick's Book Dept. (858) 454-0347 for details.

 

 

Nearly everyone swears—whether it's over a few too many drinks, in reaction to a stubbed toe, or in flagrante delicto. And yet, we sit idly by as words are banned from television and censored in books. We insist that people excise profanity from their vocabularies and we punish children for yelling the very same dirty words that we'll mutter in relief seconds after they fall asleep. Swearing, it seems, is an intimate part of us that we have decided to selectively deny. 

That's a damn shame. Swearing is useful. It can be funny, cathartic, or emotionally arousing. As linguist and cognitive scientist Benjamin K. Bergen shows us, it also opens a new window onto how our brains process language and why languages vary around the world and over time. 

In this groundbreaking yet ebullient romp through the linguistic muck, Bergen answers intriguing questions: How can patients left otherwise speechless after a stroke still shout "Goddamn!" when they get upset? When did a "cock" grow to be more than merely a rooster? Why is "crap" vulgar when "poo" is just childish? Do slurs make you treat people differently? Why is the first word that Samoan children say not "mommy" but "eat s***"? And why do we extend a middle finger to flip someone the bird? 

Smart as hell and funny as f***, What the F is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to know how and why we swear.