Cursing & crossed fingers: What our word choice says about us
Play • 35 min

WARNING: This episode contains swearing, suggestive language, and references that some listeners may prefer to avoid.

In this episode, Kyla sits down with Professor Timothy Jay, psycholinguist and the foremost expert on swearing and curse words. Together they unpack the origins of benign office jargon, how certain naughty words develop from childhood, and the story of one comedian's infamous bit that ended up in front of the Supreme Court. We also hear from Jennifer Saul, Chair in Social and Political Philosophy of Language at the University of Waterloo. She shares how one presidential campaign upended decades of political linguistic thought and inspired her own research into deceptive speech and linguistic devices.

Do you work in communications? Join us at Staffbase's VOICES Conference in NYC April 26-27th, 2023. Get your ticket at and use promocode VOICES-PODCAST-25 for 25% off your ticket.

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