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Monday, July 27, 2020

Review: Swearing is Good For You

Swearing is Good For You is Emma Byrne's debut book about the research and science behind swearing. It turns out that Byrne is actually a computer scientist and has no special knowledge of linguistics or etymology. Her approach to this book is therefore that of a "survey study" approach, where she reads a ton of related papers in the field and then regurgitates them at you. The topics are grouped in a few obvious fashions: medical (tourette's), workplace, social, and foreign languages. Each topic is covered in shallow fashion, with references to the actual research and study, but Byrne herself has not really contributed anything substantial in this field.

If you're looking for a survey book as a jumping off point to deeper study, this might be OK. As it is I came away from the book feeling very meh.

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