Researchers find swearing has health (and productivity) benefits

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jul 16 05:16:58 UTC 2009

Dennis, I tried to post the following to The Web of Language, but got
back "No message found for the response".
Title:  Swearing also has productivity benefits

Earlier, from 2007: swearing is also good for the office.  I don't
have a record of where the following comes from, but the journal and
article are identified.

"A new study coming out of the University of East Anglia's Norwich
Business School reports that,  while swearing may cost you the game,
on the plus side it does build  team spirit.  Their research further
suggests that turning the air  blue on a regular basis may actually
be good for business.

"... Now two business scholars, Yehuda Baruch and Stuart Jenkins,
report in a recent issue  of the Leadership and Organization
Development Journal (vol. 28  [2007], pp. 492-507), that regular
swearing at work creates a sense  of community and reinforces social
relationships. . . ."

This too is from the (formerly repressed?) Brits.  How close is Keele
University to East Anglia's Norwich Business School?  (Not much --
Keele is between Birmingham and Manchester; Norwich is near the east
coast, about 150 miles distant as the curses fly through the blue skies.)

At 7/15/2009 06:49 PM, Dennis Baron wrote:
>There's a new post on the Web of Language:
>Researchers find swearing has health benefits. If you're in pain,
>curse twice and call me in the morning
>People who swear when they're hurt feel less pain than those who
>don't. At least that's the conclusion of a team of psychologists from
>England's Keele University.
>The researchers asked 67 undergraduates to stick their hands in ice
>water while repeating a curse word of their choice, and then to do it
>again while repeating a non-swear word they had also chosen (Richard
>Stephens, John Atkins and Andrew Kingston, "Swearing as a response to
>pain," NeuroReport 20 [Aug. 5, 2009]: 1056-60). Swearers were able to
>keep their hands in the 5 degree C. water longer than non-swearers
>(though one participant did have to drop out of the study out because
>the "curse word" the student picked wasn't actually a curse word).
>Read the rest of this post on the Web of
>Dennis Baron
>Professor of English and Linguistics
>Department of English
>University of Illinois
>608 S. Wright St.
>Urbana, IL 61801
>office: 217-244-0568
>fax: 217-333-4321
>read the Web of Language:
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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