A note for Lesson no. 5, "Your Brain Secretly Works With Other Brains," in Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 91 is:
Over time, anything that contributes to chronic stress can gradually eat away at your brain and cause illness in your body. This includes physical abuse, verbal aggression...
Verbal aggression, at least the milder kind, depends on context. Not all profanity is verbal aggression.
For references on the brain impacts of sustained verbal aggression, see a long period of chronic stress can harm a human brain.
The importance of context
Identical words, when spoken in a different context, can become verbal aggression. For example, in some parts of the southern United States, certain polite-sounding words, when spoken in a particular context, can become insults:
- “Well aren’t you special.”
- “He means well, God love him.”
- “Oh, is that what they’re wearing now?”