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Four-letter words have been around since the days of our forebears—and their forebears, too. In Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing, a book out this month from Oxford University Press, medieval literature expert Melissa Mohr traces humans’ use of naughty language back to Roman times. NewsFeed asked Mohr what surprising tidbits readers might stumble upon amidst the expletives. Here are nine talking points from her opus for your next (presumably, pretty edgy) cocktail hour.
(FROM THE MAGAZINE: Help! My Baby Swears)
1. The average person swears quite a bit.
About 0.7% of the words a person uses in the course of a day are swear words, which may not sound significant except that as Mohr notes, we use first-person plural pronouns — words like we, our and ourselves — at about the same rate. The typical range, Mohr says, goes from zero to about 3%. What…
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The world’s most visited art museum is dealing with an influx of unwelcome visitors.
A staff walkout over the rise of pickpockets forced the Louvre in Paris to shut its doors Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports.
Workers say that thieves have been showing up at the museum in gangs of up to 30 — primarily made up of young Eastern Europeans — and are responsible for incidents of “spitting, insults, threats” and striking employees and visitors.
Staffers “come to work afraid because they find themselves confronted with organized groups of pickpockets who are increasingly aggressive and which include children, who get into the museum free and even when taken in for questioning by police, come back a few days later,” Christelle Guyader, a representative for the network of trade unions Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques (SUD), told the AFP
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