Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Kids these days are swearing earlier and more often

Kids swearing more

"According to research presented at the Sociolinguistics Symposium this month, children are learning to use profanity – swearing – at an earlier age," reports. "And the researchers found children are also swearing more often than children did just a few decades ago. Timothy Jay, a psychology professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, presented the data at the conference, held earlier this month in the U.K. Prof. Jay suggests the rise in profanity among children is not surprising, given the general rise in the use of swearing among adults during the same time period. … Kids aren't learning swearing at an earlier age from the television they watch. The rise in cursing mirrors the rise in cursing among adults in the past 30 years that Prof. Jay has been studying the psychology of swearing."

Hurrah for autumn

Story continues below advertisement

"Some allergy sufferers hate spring," Mary Schmich writes for the Chicago Tribune. "Some heat wimps hate summer. Some people hate winter because they can't stand to shovel snow. Everybody loves autumn. … The tender air, the angle of the sun, the incongruity of that colour flaring while the light fades. And we're always more grateful to be alive when we're aware of dying."

Steamed about homework

From an 1860 edition of Scientific American: "A child who has been boxed up six hours in school might spend the next four hours in study, but it is impossible to develop the child's intellect in this way. … The effect of the system is to enfeeble the intellect even more than the body. We never see a little girl staggering home under a load of books, or knitting her brow over them at eight o'clock in the evening, without wondering that our citizens do not arm themselves at once with carving knives, pokers, clubs, paving stones or any weapons at hand, and chase out the managers of our common schools, as they would wild beasts that were devouring their children."


Impaired walking

"Two small drinks a night are enough to make elderly people unsteady on their feet, putting them at risk of falls, a study shows," The Daily Telegraph reports. "The moderate amount of alcohol – below the current legal limit for driving – has a dramatic effect on their dexterity. Scientists gave 13 healthy men and women in their early 60s just two single vodka and orange drinks and found they struggled at an obstacle avoidance test while walking." Dutch researcher Judith Hegeman, of Saint Maartens Hospital in Nijmegen, said: "After ingestion of two alcoholic drinks, obstacles were hit twice as often, response times were delayed and response amplitudes were reduced."

Battle of wills

Story continues below advertisement

A 49-year-old man has been arrested in Ann Arbor, Mich., following a fight with the pet parrot carried in his backpack, Associated Press reports. Police say witnesses reported the colourful bird was shaken so violently that its feathers were scattered. Police lieutenant Renee Bush said the parrot was "squawking loudly" when officers arrived. But the bird was fighting back, leaving one of its owner's thumbs "scratched and bloodied." The parrot suffered a red eye and bald patches. Lt. Bush said it was also limping. The owner told officers he was disciplining and training the bird. He was held in jail, pending charges.

How to stay calm

"A key task, when dealing with another person's anger," Sue Shellenbarger reports for The Wall Street Journal, "is to show 'emotional leadership' in responding – that is, to keep from getting mad, too, says Donna Earl, San Francisco, owner of an eponymous customer-service training and management company. … When you're the target of criticism, controlling your own emotions is one of the hardest tasks. Techniques Ms. Earl recommends include looking at the ceiling to relax your breathing and tracing figure-eights in the air with your eyes, which relaxes and refocuses the eye muscles, with a calming effect. To stay calm, one San Jose, Calif., help-desk worker posts a vacation photo of his family at his desk, directly in front of him at eye level, Ms. Earl says. One technique she doesn't recommend: Some agents hit the 'mute' button and scream back."

The deeper geek

Geeks who like to rap have created a new genre of hip hop known as nerdcore. "Nerdcore is like every other sort of hip hop, just considerably less cool," MC Frontalot, one of the founding fathers of the scene, told the BBC. "Topics include video games, science fiction, Dungeons and Dragons, but the deeper themes also look at feelings of alienation, paranoia and inadequacy that must always be battled in order to leave your apartment."

Source: Orange News U.K.

Story continues below advertisement

Thought du jour

"We tell lies when we are afraid … afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger."

– Tad Williams

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at