Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Review: "In Praise of Profanity" by Michael Adams

This book really didn't need to be a whole book. Though it was a pretty short book I felt like it might have been better in a different format, maybe a series of web articles? Though it felt like it carried on a little longer than it probably needed to, and got a little folded over on top of itself sometimes there were some interesting points:

-What's the difference between something being obscene or profane?

- Who decides what words are worse than others? (Like, you can say "ass" on tv but maybe not "shit"?)

- Words that used to be insults that now people have "reclaimed" - n*gga, bitch, and f*g.

One thing that I thought was interesting that the book kinda brings up but then I stewed on it a little more was how many different contexts we can use the same word. For example, "shit".

My team just scored a touchdown - "Shit yeah!" (Celebratory)

Becky borrowed my favorite sweater without asking and I just found out - "What the shit, Becky?!" (Angry)

When Becky finds out that I know she has my favorite sweater - "Oh Shit" (Scared). YOU SHOULD BE BECKY, I LOVE THAT SWEATER.

And, of course the sentence you would say after wolfing down too much movie theater popcorn in one sitting - "I'm going to have the shits" (Verb...technically a predictive verb if that was a real thing.)

So, short book, fast read, kinda redundant but I learned a couple of swear words in different languages so not a complete loss. 2.5 stars.


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