Nine Nasty Words: The Words That Make Us What We Are, for Better or for Worse

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The language of our time, be it in the twittersphere, spoken-word poetry, or simply our day-to-day discourse, is blemished by a set of profanities — some more vile than others — whose roots go way, way back in the history of words. Are ideas about the four-letter words of our past shifting? Acclaimed linguistics and philosophy professor John McWhorter dissects and discusses how some words we used to consider profane are really just salty, and accepted as such. Others, especially in racist code, are positively explosive — and for good reason. Join McWhorter and the frequently funny (and irreverent) Jeffrey Goldberg for what promises to be a hilarious and also sobering look at modern-day parlance.

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