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Stay the blazes home: A perfect COVID motto from a N.S. premier [Video]

In the long-running annual series Oh, The Humanities! National Post reporters survey academic scholarship at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, which has gone entirely virtual this year, hosted at the University of Alberta from May 27 to June 4. Over the coming days, Canadian academics will share their insights on such diverse topics as the origins of English names for sushi rolls and new techniques in student cheating.

Swearing can be useful in political rhetoric, even charming. But salty language is like salty food. Good taste depends on restraint.

Two sociologists at St. Francis Xavier University investigated a famous case study in political cussing for a presentation at this week’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, about how a premier’s use of a quaint, archaic expression with a minor swear word struck a fine balance between paternalistic orders and good-hearted appeals to the common good.

Last April, outraged that Nova Scotians were disregarding the order to limit unnecessary travel, then-premier Stephen …

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