Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gosh darn

The measure of useless research is that with value along with $1.85 will buy you a large cup of coffee at Starbuck’s. Did you read about the research that found swearing makes pain more tolerable? LiveScience.com reported on Sunday that swearing – perhaps yelling out the F-word - could actually make it easier to bear throbbing pain such as when you stub your toe. The results of the study will be detailed in an upcoming issue of the journal NeuroReport.

"Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon," said Richard Stephens of Keele University in England and one of the authors of the new study. "It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain."

The researchers enlisted 64 undergraduate volunteers and had them submerge their hand in a tub of ice water for as long as possible while repeating a swear word of their choice. The experiment was then repeated with the volunteer repeating a more common word that they would use to describe a table. Contrary to what the researcher expected, the volunteers kept their hands submerged longer while repeating the swear word.

What do I think? Glad you asked. I think these F’ing researchers should find something else better to do with their research talents. Swearing, in my opinion, is an emotional release with those who have a limited vocabulary. If my vocabulary consists of only 10 words and 5 of them are expletive depletive, it’s fair to say that I am more likely to choose a swear word than someone whose vocabulary consists of 100 words and 10 of them are expletive depletive.

Suave middle-age men like me get our emotional release in response to pain by writing a clever, creative, metaphorical, original and scholarly blogflection or bellowing out the classic “gosh darn”.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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