Event 249

Susie Dent and Rebecca Roache

Curse and Curiosity

 – Global Stage

The lexicographer and the philosopher discuss words and their power to confuse and surprise us. Celebrated linguist and face of Countdown’s Dictionary Corner Susie Dent’s latest book is Interesting Stories About Curious Words. She explores the bizarre human histories behind the stories of sweet Fanny Adams and Jack the Lad, and answers such perplexing questions as: How did circles become vicious? Who was Hobson and what was his choice? And what did Nelson turn a blind eye to? Rebecca Roache, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, delves into the magical power of swear words in her book For F*ck’s Sake: Why Swearing is Shocking, Rude and Fun. She helps understand how swearing works – it isn’t always bad. When not used offensively, it can foster social intimacy, help people withstand pain and might even help us curb our violent impulses. They talk to publisher and writer John Mitchinson.

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