Nine Nasty Words

  • Type: Books
  • By: John McWhorter
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780593188798
  • Check Catalog

Don't read this out out loud!

What makes bad words bad?  Why are some bad words so much worse than others?  And why do we continue to use them if they’re truly awful?  Linguist John McWhorter answers these questions and more on this wild ride through the world of contemporary American profanity.  It’s as if the author took George Carlin’s classic comedy sketch Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television, updated it for the 21st century, added historical context for the words in question, and put it all down on paper.

Potential readers should be aware that McWhorter leaves nothing off the table:  blasphemy, racial slurs, bawdy ballads, and toilet talk are all very much in play here.  But if you’re up for it, this is an entertaining way to become very smart about nasty words in the United States.