You may have seen a headline or two floating around your Facebook or Twitter feed lately declaring that “People Who Swear Are Smart.” Maybe you smiled because you swear and darn it, you’re smart! But no, really, it’s true!
In the article “Taboo Word Fluency and Knowledge of Slurs and General Pejoratives: Deconstructing the Poverty-of-Vocabulary Myth” published in the November 2015 issue of Language Sciences, authors Kristin L. Jay and Timothy B. Jay do in fact find that “taboo word fluency is correlated with general fluency.” Those with a large curse word vocabulary have a large vocabulary period. This may be the best scholarly article ever published, and not just because they use the word “taboo” to describe swear words. [Note: they also include other types of inappropriate slurs and language in the study–not just curse words–which is why they describe them as “taboo.”]
But wait! Before you go patting yourself on the back for your large bank of curse words, consider the rest of the findings: “taboo fluency is correlated with neuroticism and openness.” So thumbs down and thumbs up?
If you love your swears as much as I do, you might want to check out our awesome t-shirts:
P.S. We also have all of these available as prints!
I wanted to end this with something clever, but f*ck it.