Dan Piepenbring: “Writers like to emphasize the psychology in their work, their strenuous labor toward depth and verisimilitude; they’re less inclined to talk about how few decent synonyms exist for ‘good.’ The stats speak a cold truth: there are dozens of prosaic choices behind every artful sentence. […] Even in great books one word follows another, all of them slaves to grammar, sequence, and probability.”

People who swear tend to be more honest than those who don’t. A 2016 study found “a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level, and with higher integrity at the society level.”

“The kind of people who say swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary usually have pretty poor vocabularies themselves.”

When it comes to swearing, as with everything else, grammar matters.

David Adger: “In English, when we ask why, we do not distinguish between different kinds of reason. This is not true for all human languages. In Pitjantjatjara, an Australian aboriginal language, one asks: nyaaku (for what purpose?), nyaanguru (from what cause?) or nyaangkatawara (to avoid what?).” 


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