Reviewing two new books on swearing (What the F, by Benjamin K. Bergen, Basic Books, and In Praise of Profanity, by Michael Adams, Oxford University Press), Joan Acocella tells of swearing’s cathartic power:
When you drop your grocery bag into a puddle or close the window on your finger, geez Louise is not going to help you much. Fuck is what you need, the more so, Adams says, because it doesn’t just express an emotion; it states a philosophical truth. By its very extremeness, it is saying that “one has found the end of language and can go no further. Profanity is no parochial gesture, then. It strikes a complaint against the human condition.”
(Quoted from “‘Fuck’ing Around” by Joan Acocella, page 24 of the February 9, 2017, issue of The New York Review of Books.)
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