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July 2023

Just "Say'n"

P&J Swearing_edited.jpg
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Read why swearing is a sign of INTELLIGENCE,

helps manage pain and more

"Polite society considers swearing to be a vulgar sign of low intelligence and education, for why would one rely on rude language when blessed with a rich vocabulary?

That perception, as it turns out, is full of, uh … baloney. In fact, swearing may be a sign of verbal superiority, studies have shown, and may provide other possible rewards as well."


“The advantages of swearing are many,” said Timothy Jay, professor emeritus of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who has studied swearing for more than 40 years.

“The benefits of swearing have just emerged in the last two decades as a result of a lot of research on brain and emotion, along with much better technology to study brain anatomy.”


1. Cursing may be a sign of intelligence

Well-educated people with plenty of words at their disposal, a 2015 study found, were better at coming up with curse words than those who were less verbally fluent.


Participants were asked to list as many words that start with F, A or S in one minute. Another minute was devoted to coming up with curse words that start with those three letters. The study found those who came up with the most F, A and S words also produced the most swear words.

That’s a sign of intelligence “to the degree that language is correlated with intelligence,” said Jay, who authored the study. “People that are good at language are good at generating a swearing vocabulary.”

Swearing can also be associated with social intelligence, Jay added.

“Having the strategies to know where and when it’s appropriate to swear, and when it’s not,” Jay said, “is a social cognitive skill like picking the right clothes for the right occasion. That’s a pretty sophisticated social tool.”


2. Swearing may be a sign of honesty

Science has also found a positive link between profanity and honesty. People who cursed lied less on an interpersonal level, and had higher levels of integrity overall, a series of three studies published in 2017 found.

“When you’re honestly expressing your emotions with powerful words, then you’re going to come across as more honest,” said Jay, who was not involved in the studies.

While a higher rate of profanity use was associated with more honesty, the study authors cautioned that “the findings should not be interpreted to mean that the more a person uses profanity, the less likely he or she would engage in more serious unethical or immoral behaviors.”



3. Profanity improves pain tolerance!   Just say'n . . .

Want to push through that workout? Go ahead and drop an f-bomb.

People on bikes who swore while pedaling against resistance had more power and strength than people who used “neutral” words, studies have shown.

Research also found that people who cursed while squeezing a hand vice were able to squeeze harder and longer.

Spouting obscenities doesn’t just help your endurance: If you pinch your finger in the car door, you may well feel less pain if you say “sh*t” instead of “shoot.”

People who cursed as they plunged their hand into icy water, another study found, felt less pain and were able to keep their hands in the water longer than those who said a neutral word.


“The headline message is that swearing helps you cope with pain,” said lead author and psychologist Richard Stephens, in an earlier CNN interview. Stephens is a senior lecturer at Keele University in Staffordshire, England, where he leads the Psychobiology Research Laboratory.


We all do it. But is swearing really ok?

Stephens said it works like this: Cussing produces a stress response that initiates the body’s ancient defensive reflex. A flush of adrenaline increases heart rate and breathing, prepping muscles for fight or flight.

Simultaneously, there is another physiological reaction called an analgesic response, which makes the body more impervious to pain.

“That would make evolutionary sense because you’re going to be a better fighter and better runner if you’re not being slowed down by concerns about pain,” Stephens said.

“So it seems like by swearing you’re triggering an emotional response in yourself, which triggers a mild stress response, which carries with it a stress-induced reduction in pain.”

Careful, however, the next time you decide to extend your workout by swearing. Curse words lose their power over pain when they are used too much, research has also discovered.

Some of us get more out of swearing than others. Take people who are more afraid of pain, called “catastrophizers.” A catastrophizer, Stephens explained, is someone who might have a tiny wound and think, “Oh, this is life threatening. I’m going to get gangrene, I’m going to die.”

“The research found men who were lower catastrophizers seemed to get a benefit from swearing, whereas men who are higher catastrophizers didn’t,” Stephens said. “Whereas with women there wasn’t any difference.”


4. Cussing is a sign of CREATIVELY

Swearing appears to be centered in the right side of the brain, the part people often call the “creative brain.”

“We do know patients who have strokes on the right side tend to become less emotional, less able to understand and tell jokes, and they tend to just stop swearing even if they swore quite a lot before,” said Emma Byrne, author of “Swearing Is Good for You.”

Research on swearing dates back to Victorian times, when physicians discovered that patients who lost their ability to speak could still curse.

“They swore incredibly fluently,” Byrne said. “Childhood reprimands, swear words and terms of endearment — words with strong emotional content learned early on tend to be preserved in the brain even when all the rest of our language is lost.”

5. Throwing expletives instead of punches

Why do we choose to swear?

Perhaps because profanity provides an evolutionary advantage that can protect us from physical harm, Jay said.

“A dog or a cat will scratch you, bite you when they’re scared or angry,” he said. “Swearing allows us to express our emotions symbolically without doing it tooth and nail.

“In other words, I can give somebody the finger or say f**k you across the street. I don’t have to get up into their face.”

Cursing then becomes a remote form of aggression, Jay said, offering the chance to express feelings quickly while hopefully avoiding repercussions.

“The purpose of swearing is to vent my emotion, and there’s an advantage in that it allows me to cope,” he said. “And then it communicates very readily to bystanders what my emotional state is. It has that advantage of emotional efficiency — it’s very quick and clear.”

A universal language

What makes the use of naughty words so powerful? The power of the taboo, of course. That reality is universally recognized: Just about every language in the world contains curse words.

“It seems that as soon as you have a taboo word, and the emotional insight that the word is going to cause discomfort for other people, the rest seems to follow naturally,” Byrne said.

It’s not just people who swear. Even primates curse when given the chance.

“Chimpanzees in the wild tend to use their excrement as a social signal, one that’s designed to keep people away,” Byrne said.

Hand-raised chimps who were potty-trained learned sign language for “poo” so they could tell their handlers when they needed the toilet.


“And as soon as they learned the poo sign they began using it like we do the word sh*t,” Byrne said. “Cursing is just a way of expressing your feelings that doesn’t involve throwing actual sh*t. You just throw the idea of sh*t around.”

Does that mean that we should curse whenever we feel like it, regardless of our environment or the feelings of others? Of course not. But at least you can cut yourself some slack the next time you inadvertently let an f-bomb slip.

After all, you’re just being human.

article By Sandee LaMotte, CNN





DidYa Know?

(A conchologist is not someone who attacks you) . . .

Conchologists study mollusks and shells.

Just say'n . . .

This common two-word phrase is the ‘worst thing’
a parent can tell a child

 (and we add . .. . don't say it to an adult either,

including YOURSELF)

Every small child gets anxious sometimes. But when your kid is panicking, there’s a common two-word phrase you should never utter: Calm down.

"That’s according to Rachel Romer, CEO and co-founder of education assistance benefits company Guild, who’s a mom to two children. For kids especially, she says, calmness is best taught through demonstration.

“I’m in the middle of parenting two little 4-year-olds, and I think about when they are anxious, saying ‘calm down’ is about the worst thing you can tell a 4-and-a-half-year-old,” Romer recently said on Guild’s “Opportunity Divide” podcast, in an episode featuring leadership researcher Brené Brown and Wharton organizational psychologist Adam Grant.

Brown and Grant agreed. Saying “calm down” doesn’t validate the child’s emotions or help them understand their feelings, and can even unintentionally come across as dismissive, they said."

"Managing an emotion like anxiety is a complex task, Grant added, recalling a 2014 published dissertation in the Journal of Experimental Psychology by a researcher named Alison Wood Brooks.

“What she found was, when you ask people, ‘What do you do when you’re anxious and what do you tell other people to do?,’ [more than 80%] of people said ‘calm down,’ but they couldn’t do it, because we all know anxiety is an intense, highly activated emotion, and it doesn’t just go away,” Grant said."

1.  Do controlled breathing together (or alone)


“Sometimes, without even telling [your kids] you’re doing it, if you start to sync your breathing with them … you create that space” for them to work through their emotions subconsciously, said Romer.

This strategy can work for adults, too. Brown said she’s learned breathwork techniques such as “box breathing” and “tactical breathing” by taking yoga classes.

“Anxiety is a very contagious emotion” “Calm is also contagious.”

These methods “prepare your physiology” and allow you to relax in the moment, Harvard-trained psychologist Daniel Goleman  says “This actually shifts your physiology from sympathetic nervous system arousal, which is the stress and anxiety mode, to parasympathetic, which is the relax and recover mode,”

2.  Reframe anxiety as excitement

“What [Wood Brooks] found was, instead of trying to calm down, it was easier to reappraise anxiety as excitement and say, ‘Look, anxiety involves uncertainty. Yes, it’s possible something bad might happen, but it’s also possible something good might happen,’” Grant explained.

In that study, people conducted a variety of anxiety-inducing tasks, such as public speaking. Subjects who were told to “get excited” were more confident and collected than those who were told to “calm down.”

Parents can do a similar exercise with their kids. While talking to your child, (or yourself) switch phrases such as, “I know you’re anxious, but…,” or “Let’s try to calm down,” to “I know you’re excited, and…”

The subtle tweak can make kids happier and help them be in the “best emotional space possible,” Grant added.






Didya Know?

What does 'no cap' means?

according to (not Peggy OR judy who are still saying "you're a lying scoundrel")"  No cap" means:

  • "no lie" or "for real", "Cap" is another word for lie, so "no cap" emphasizes when someone is being truthful. If someone is "capping," they are lying.

  • to cap" meant to brag, exaggerate or lie about something,

  • "to surpass." Therefore, "cap" could be defined as the "top" or "upper limit"

  • "no cap" can be used to describe something that has no limit.


How to use 'no cap'

  • "Peggy&Judy can't be serious right now." "They really are, no cap."

  • "I know they're capping right now."

  • "It's almost like there's no cap on what Peggy & Judy will do to impress you."

Just say'n . . .


Anxiety?  Negative Thinking?  Fear? 

Don't just talk to yourself. 

Question your thinking.





Here's an effective exercise from Byron Katie* that can help you question your thinking to help calm your brain.

Identify Who or What upsets you. Recall a specific thought that creates anxiety and ask yourself 4 questions:

  •  1- Is it true?

  •  2- Can you absolutely know it's true?

  •  3- How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?

  • 4- Who would you be (how would you feel) without the thought?

Next turn the thought around, find the opposite thought, and ask yourself these 4 questions:

  • 1- Is it true?

  • 2- Can you absolutely know it's true?

  • 3- How do you react—what happens—when you believe the opposite thought? 

  • 4-  Who would you be (how would you feel) without the thought?

Is the opposite thought as true, or truer, than the original thought?

*To read more about this turn-around technique click here


Here's yet another way to calm yourself (we aim to please) 

and your link to download a PDF version:

Questions for calming downPDF


Graciously Gracie

Mail is my Bag - We get mail!


"Love PJT newsletter! Sending love and hugs to you Judith! Love, Susan & Dennis"

Dear Susan & Dennis

I love that you love the PJTnewsletter.  It gives Peggy & Judy something worthwhile to do and I reward them with treats and walks. Training Judy not to procrastinate and Peggy to be more interested in the technical is a continuing challenge as no amount of treats or walks seem to work with them . . . perhaps they are "intellectually challenged" as Tom -below- suggested. .. )


"Thank You for another thought provoking newsletter.  I’m amazed at the curiosity you must have to do the research necessary for your epistles.  And make them interesting for us Spartans, among other intellectually challenged followers."

"More music memories………. Many moons ago my musical mutt moaned marvelous mellifluous melodies for meals.  Does Gracie Allen make mealtime music?"

Dear Tom,

We "mutts" have many ways of training humans and Music for Munchies is quite clever.  I shall consider adding it to my own repetroire should my humans regress in their training.   (P.S.  Peggy and Judy are very impressed at your alliteration - 10 in one breath may be a resounding record.)  







Your Velcro Brain

 In the book Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, Rick Hanson writes,

“Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”

Your brain is wired to notice the negative

Your brain has a natural negativity bias which means it constantly looks for, learns from, and holds onto anything it considers a danger or loss with much more gusto than something neutral or pleasant. 

Bad memories even get stored differently.

"Your brain has a good reason for its natural negativity. Your ancestors were more likely to live long enough to pass on their genes by remembering where they were chased by a predator than a prime napping spot."


"This tendency to notice and never forget the bad is just your brain doing its job, protecting you. Your brain is continually learning from experience to adapt your behavior to be better suited to survive in its environment.  Even though you don’t need a brain that’s this super sensitive now, this hair-trigger reactivity still exists. As you can imagine, it doesn’t do you any favors today."

"It means your brain is always on guard, looking for danger and tilted towards erring on the side of caution – which means a more negative, uneasy, jumpy you.  Having your nervous system continually activated leaves you feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and anxious. No wonder anxiety is the most common mental diagnosis in the United States with depression not far behind."



"So, how do you find some good, happiness, and joy in the middle of all the muck when even your brain is working against you? You have to intentionally look for, put emphasis on, and create good experiences."

You have to notice the good

"Your brain doesn’t automatically acknowledge the good that’s present in your life every day for two reasons:

  1. There isn’t usually a stimulus to catch your attention in something good. There’s no threat, no fear, nothing to make your brain stop and take notice. (It doesn’t automatically note all the bad things that didn’t happen.)

  2. Through a process called habituation, your brain filters out all of the daily ho-hum things that don’t change, whether it’s the constant hum of the refrigerator or the routine absence of disasters. While habituation is an efficient use of your neural resources, it causes you to miss a lot of the positive that’s around you at all times."


By becoming mindful of the present moment, you can find the good that’s already in your life, shift your perspective, and refocus your mind.

 Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the ugly realities of your life that require your attention is not the solution. The idea is to not give them any more time and mental energy than necessary. Intentionally direct your attention and efforts to areas that could yield positive experiences for you.

Look for what's good, what's working well, (in the past or present) whether it be your environment,  events, or personal qualities. 

Original article by Debbie Hampton



He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

Proverbs 12:17

It is easy to become disheartened when hearing the falsehoods, distortions, lies and as the news used to phrase it "they misspoke".  Truth is foundational to the earth's major religions.  Just a sample:


  • "The Buddha made “not lying” one of the fundamental training practices of his path of self-transformation (it is the fourth precept out of five). And in his words to Rahula, he made it clear he believed that there is an essential connection between truthfulness and personal integrity. If one goes, so will the other."

  • "Baha'i writings assert that telling the truth supports all of our development: Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul

  • "Islam teaches that truthfulness is far more than having an honest tongue. In Islam, truthfulness is the conformity of the outer with the inner, the action with the intention, the speech with belief, and the practice with the preaching."

  • "The Hebrew Bible forbids perjury in several verses, among them: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:12, part of the Ten Commandments), also phrased "Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor" (Deuteronomy 5)"

For those of you who do not subscribe to any specific religion

 . . . .  Lying is just NOT cool.


Just Say'n 


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Just Say'n

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