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Review of For Fucks Sake by Rebecca Roache

It’s great to have some debut non-fiction to review! Rebecca Roach is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London and For F*ck’s Sake is her take on why swearing isn’t always bad. This is a great book for anyone interested in linguistics. Rebecca breaks down why exactly we find swearing offensive and why we find some swear words more taboo than others. She asks questions like ‘when is it appropriate to swear?’ and looks at various examples of swearing in pop culture that illustrate our strange rules around language and who can do what with it. It will make you think about why we bother using asterisks and how sometimes, our rigidity for politeness and playing by the rules can be more offensive. What I found especially impactful here were the chapters on slurs. Rebecca eloquently articulates the difference between slurs and swears and discusses the nuances of re-appropriation. She also delves into why we have collectively decided that ‘c*nt’ is the ‘worst’ swear and considers this alongside misogynistic attitudes and how we should feel about it as feminists. This is a really refreshing and insightful book that got me back into being excited about academic reading. I would definitely recommend for anyone looking for the same. 

Reviewed by Abi.

FFS was published on 1/11/23 by Oxford University Press.

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