What You Can Learn From Damn Research

Survey says: People who swear appear to be more honest than those who don’t.

I grew up in a household where profanity was rarely uttered. At least in the presence of parents. I do recall that I had my mouth washed out with soap by my kindergarten teacher. I have a feeling such corporal punishment would now be verboten, no?

Anyway, this article showed up in my newsreader this morning and the first thing that popped into my mind was my kindergarten teacher who was, other than that time at the sink, a wonderful teacher:

A study published last year with the title “Frankly, We Do Give a Damn: The Relationship Between Profanity and Honesty,” notes, “the consistent findings (of) studies suggest that the positive relation between profanity and honesty is robust, and that relationship found at the individual level indeed translates to the society level.” It’s true, some research shows that people who swear may be likely to violate other social norms, god bless ‘em, but they are also less likely to lie during police interrogations.

(via | Open Culture)

People Who Swear Are More Honest Than Those Who Don’t, Finds a New University Study

The Doodle is the Message

A Google Doodle today commemorates the 106th anniversary of the birth of Marshall McLuhan.

A few years ago, I submitted an article to an editor describing Osmo Wiio as the Marshall McLuhan of Finland.

“Our readers will have to google Marshall McLuhan and Osmo Wiio to figure out what you mean,” the editor emailed me back.

“That’s okay, I responded, Google is merely an extension of their central nervous systems,” I responded.

“?” emailed the editor.

“You know. The medium is the message,” I responded.

“The message is not a medium, it’s a large. Here it is.: You can’t reference two communications theorists in one sentence.”

Bonus: A review by the late David Carr (RIP) of a biography titled Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work.

The title of the book comes from one of the greatest movie scenes of all time (if you can use google).

 

Malcolm Gladwell Just Provided the Tipping Point to My Understanding of Country Music

Now I know the ingredients of a tear jerking country song.

I’ve lived in Nashville for almost 40 years, but I’ve learned more about country music in the past 40 minutes than I had in all those years.

The current episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History, is titled “King of Tears.” It centers on a talk Gladwell had in Nashville recently with legendary songwriter Bobby Braddock, now in his 70s. (Minor spoiler: He’s the person being referenced to in the title of the episode.

You may not know who Braddock is, but you’ll be tracking down all of the songs he wrote by the time the podcast episode ends.

While the short version of what Kings of Tears is about is this: Gladwell seeks and finds out, “What it is about some kinds of that makes us cry.”

I finally have an answer to those questions.

Just listen.

Here is a link to “King of Tears.”

(Sidenote: The Revisionist History website includes links to a couple of books Gladwell refers to in the episode and provides links to the various ways you can subscribe to future episodes.)

A Few of the Thousand New Words That Made it Into the Dictionary

Words like photo bomb have made it into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Merriam-Webster.com has added 1,000 new words to its online dictionary.

I was familiar with the most of the tech, web culture and political ones. Completely blank on the science ones. Didn’t know that wayback machine has a meaning other than the one found at archive.org. But buried deep in the list, I knew the meaning of ginger.

Completely blank on the science ones.

Ginger, of course.

Didn’t know that “wayback machine” has a meaning other than the one found at archive.org.

But buried deep in the list, I knew the meaning of ginger (right).

Here is a sampling of the new words (links go to Merriam-Webster.com meanings).

Technology and web culture

net neutrality
abandonware
botnet
binge-watch
photobomb
ghost
NSFW
listicles
humblebrags

Sports

airball
up-fake
five-hole

Medicine

supercentenarian
EpiPen
urgent care

Science

CRISPR
phytoremediation
microbiome
Prosopagnosia

Cooking and food

arancini
EVOO
macaron
santoku
chef’s knife
artisanal (expanded entry)

Politics

SCOTUS
FLOTUS
town hall
truther

Familiar words combined that form new words

face-palm
food insecure
geek out
ride shotgun
side-eye
throw shade
train wreck
walk back (an opinion)
weak sauce

More examples of new meanings for old word combinations

Yowza!
bokeh
elderflower
fast fashion
first world problem
ginger
microaggression
mumblecore
pareidolia
ping
safe space
wayback
wayback machine
woo-woo