Growing up, we’re usually taught to refrain from swearing because it’s inappropriate and rude. There’s definitely a bit of a social stereotype in which those who swear are seen as uneducated, but according to a recent study, potty mouths might be a lot smarter than they were once perceived.
Tons of people have the opinion that people who swear frequently only do it because they don’t have the vocabulary to express themselves intelligently, but psychologists Kristin Joy of Marist College and Timothy Jay of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts disagree with this.
According to their findings, people who use ‘taboo words’ are actually more likely to be fluent in mundane, neutral words. ‘People who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately,’ the researchers wrote. ‘The ability to make nuanced distinction indicates the presence of more rather than less linguistic knowledge.’
Another study used technology to test thousands of Facebook statuses searching for people who use swear words and for words that indicate deception. The study found that those who used swear words were more likely to be honest. So basically, if you swear like a sailor you’re honest and intelligent.
Researchers say that those who swear more often are more comfortable expressing themselves and are therefore being more genuine than someone who refrains.
Other studies can back up all of these findings. For example, in criminal cases, innocent suspects are more likely to curse than a guilty one who is denying accusations, and if you swear during a testimony, you are seen as more credible.
So basically, swearing isn’t such a bad thing after all! The next time someone gets mad at you for dropping an F-bomb, just say you were being smart and honest. It’s all in the science!
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