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To Cuss, or Not to Cuss...


Do you think swearing is therapeutic?

The question occurred to me when I was scrounging around for a Swahili swear word — for a story, of course — and came upon, a dictionary of cussing in a variety of languages.

To me, such resources are awesome because seeing row upon row of foreign words for the same crude concept shows a certain universality akin to music. When we get upset, only a particularly rancid word seems capable of conveying the depth of our disquiet.

And that’s exactly what an article in Psychology Today states.

Cursing is economical. A photo is not the only thing that can convey a thousand words.

And studies show cursing:

— reduces stress

— heightens pain tolerance

— betters physical performance during arduous activities

So now I know why I cursed for a full minute today when my board knocked my knee while I was out surfing.

Having been reared to believe swearing is a mortal sin, I didn’t actually swear even once until I was a junior in high school. Though for the life of me, I’ve never understood why euphemisms like the kind my parents used — Damnation! Gosh darnit! — are more acceptable when the meaning is the same.

Do you swear? Do you feel better for it? When was the first time you did?


For updates about Martha’s books, news and giveaways, check out her website.

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