We talk to John McWhorter, a linguist and author of the book, "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English," and Timothy Jay, psychology professor and author of "Why We Curse: A Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech." We take a look at exactly that: why we curse, and whether it would be less offensive if we all cussed more.
We started this conversation here online and this is what listeners have to say:
Tonya, from Staten Island, writes on our website:
"In scripture, the Bible, God forbits it. It is considered to be empowering, but I believe it takes away from empowerment because of its commonness. Originality and individuality is so much more unique. Charm and eloquence would be so much more engaging and empowering. Talking used to be a gift and a skill. What happened? I encourage those around me to not use it. It's much more engaging to be original in our speech. More thoughtful. We should want to hear each other more, not less. But, for thsoe who choose it, it is their free will."
What do you think? Do we swear too much these days? Do you swear? If so, when and where? Is there a time or place when you specifically don't swear? Is it time to clean up our foul mouths?