If you catch flack because you don’t have the most pristine vocabulary, you’ve likely heard all the criticisms of people who curse a lot. Your parents, your grandparents, maybe even your neighbors get all serious every time you drop an f-bomb. They’ll tell you that cursing is a sign of weakness, poor vocabulary or low intelligence. But don’t believe those bastards!
A new scientific study demonstrates that people who swear often tend to be more creative with their language. The study was published by a couple of psychologists at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Marist College. The researchers determined that foul-mouthed-motherf*ckers might have a richer vocabulary than people who don’t rely on such colorful speech. So don’t assume that someone who swears can’t find more flowery language to express themselves.
The researchers asked participants in the study to list as many curse words as they could think of. After that, they requested that they list as many animal names as they could. This allowed them to compare the participants’ verbal acuity with offensive words as well as completely neutral ones. If your grandmother was right, participants who listed the most curse words should have listed fewer animal names. However, that’s not what happened. People who easily came up with obscenities also rattled off the most words when asked to list terms associated with other themes. This demonstrated an irrefutable connection between cursing capabilities and a greater vocabulary in general.
So next time you’re getting chewed by Aunt Gertrude for calling her yappy dog a bitch, remind yourself that your just smarter than she is. Hell, maybe even tell her that.