Linguistics of foul language

By Peter Rosen, KSL

You’re not supposed to say them. We can’t spell them out for you. But at the University of Utah, you can get credit for studying curse words. The university’s Linguistics Department offers an online class titled “Bad Words and Taboo Terms,” taught by Randy Eggert. “We started it really as a class that would attract non-majors,” he said. “It’s a fairly new area of research,” Eggert said. “For years the topic itself was taboo. Few people were willing to research it seriously until the 1980s.” Bad words, themselves, though, are nothing new.

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