The benefits of bad words

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – You’ve heard them.. muttered them.. maybe even yelled them: swear words — punishable by a mouthful of soap from your mother, or even a $20 ticket if you’re in Middleborough, Mass.

“It’s a natural reaction. I don’t know why it happens. After I do it and I think about it I realize I could have worded myself differently,” said Stephen Tobin from Williamsburg.

Psychologists at Keele University in the UK looked at why we swear and what it does to our brains. They concluded its a harmless natural reaction that can make people feel better, even more resilient.

One of the researchers became interested in the coping mechanism of swearing while his wife was in labor with their child. People use ‘forbidden’ words when they’re emotional, so they feel stronger.

“As a young person when I was a kid I would make me feel big. Oh I’m grown up now. I can do whatever I want. Then as you age you find out it’s really not,” said Virginia Young from West Springfield.

“If it helps to get the frustration out better swearing than violence. In the privacy of your own home I think it can be okay,” said Jessica Conz from Northampton.

But not everyone thinks so-called ‘choice words’ should be a choice at all. Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law that bans swearing in plays, films, and books. Here in the U-S, FCC laws prohibit profanity on TV and radio between the hours of 6AM and 10PM. As for you and your cursing, don’t overuse your emotional outlet. The study shows the more someone swears, the less effective the language is.

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