Cursing in America

A psycholinguistic study of dirty language in the courts, in the movies, in the schoolyards and on the streets

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This is the first serious and extensive examination of American cursing from a psycholinguistic-contextual point of view. Several field studies and numerous laboratory-based experiments focus on the relationship between cursing and language acquisitions, anger expresssion, gender stereotypes, semantics, and offensiveness. Censorship, language content of motion pictures, First-Amendment fighting words, sexual harassment, obscene phone calls, and cursing at public schools are analyzed and related to sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic data. Many tables of word-by-word data provide empirical evidence of frequency of occurrence, degree of offensiveness, gender of speaker and age of speaker influences on obscene language usage in America. A "must" for language reference collections.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, Massachusetts

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