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Good news! Swearing in front of your kids is fine, science says so

According to the musings of one cunning linguist, it’s totally fine to swear around your children.



As society dictates, when you become a parent, you have to act right. One has to set the example, and forever be a pillar of decorum. I know many parents who have chosen the righteous path when Junior passes through their lips, silently vowing to never pass a curse through theirs. However, a professor of cognitive science believes swearing in front of your children is a boon, because, fuck, why not?

According to Quartz, Benjamin Bergen, a linguist and professor of cognitive science at UC Davis, has written a book about swearing in front of children. To prove that academics are a strange breed, he decided to look into the concept of censoring oneself around your children, and if you should do it at all. In the text, he makes a distinction between swears and slurs. Slurs, obviously, are out, we should not teach our halflings to disparage another, but “ordinary profanity—four-letter words—causes any sort of direct harm: no increased aggression, stunted vocabulary, numbed emotions or anything else.”

While Bergen concedes that swearing at children is not on, but swearing around them is fine. The issue, I believe is context. As children cannot grasp the nuances of social interaction that (some) adults can, they’re unable to decode the when. For example, swearing a television is fine, swearing at a cop is not. The challenge, I believe, is to teach them the optimal time to drop the worst word in the universe. You know, as the responsible adults.


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