The old thinking: Swearing is trashy.
(Just picture The Real Housewives of Atlanta.)
The new wisdom: Using your favorite four-letter word at the right time can alleviate
pain. A recent study published in NeuroReport found that participants
who immersed their hands in icy water and were allowed to shout
expletives experienced significantly less prickly, numbing pain
than when they repeated neutral words. Researchers speculate
that cursing activates the stress response, boosting the body's pain
threshold to deal with crisis.