‘Like Little Language Vacuum Cleaners,’ Kids Suck Up Swear Words

NPR:

Most parents are pretty concerned about their kids using foul language.

 

Dr. Timothy Jay, a psychologist and expert in swearing, says parents worried about bad words might be fighting a losing battle.

 

“As soon as kids start talking, they pick up this kind of language,” Jay says. “They’re like little language vacuum cleaners, so they repeat what they hear.”

They pick it up from parents, as much as they may try to hide it, from siblings and peers and from entertainment. Jay, a professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, examines when and why children incorporate taboo language into their lexicons in a recent paper in the American Journal of Psychology.

Read the whole story: NPR

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