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"Nine Nasty Words" By John McWhorter

Book cover for "Nine Nasty Words"

Profanity has always been a deliciously vibrant part of our lexicon, an integral part of being human. We know why languages have terms of endearment, of greeting, of ritual - but why do all languages have collections of words that are "bad"?

Language evolves with time, and so does what we consider profane or unspeakable. In his new book, "Nine Nasty Words," McWorther examines profanity, explored from every angle: historical, sociological, political, and linguistic.

John McWhorter teaches linguistics, American studies, and music history at Columbia University. He is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and host of Slate's "Lexicon Valley" podcast.

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book.
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