People who curse a lot have better vocabularies than those who don't, study finds

 
Related

Loyal Dog Jumps on Hospital Bed to Comfort 9-Year-Old Boy With Autism

Puyol Mos
900 points

Actor Alan Rickman, Snape in "Harry Potter" films, dies at 69

Puyol Mos
1216 points



Most recent

¿Por qué requiere tanto tiempo conseguir una vacuna contra el coronavirus?

Actualidad
388 points

Cuando tenía 17

Enrique TF
18 points

Las brasas del poder efímero

Henri Monzó Catalá
24 points

Expertos en edificación realizarán desde 15 países un proyecto constructivo en Latinoamérica

CYPE
6 points

Éramos felices y no lo sabíamos

PENSAMIENTO LIBRE
26 points

Lista la vacuna del COVID 19 desde Israel

Henri Monzó Catalá
70 points

Elon Musk reabre Tesla a pesar de la orden de confinamiento y se ofrece para ser arrestado

Actualidad
258 points

CORONAVIRUS: "Esta epidemia desaparecerá hacia junio y no volveremos a ver algo así en una década"

Henri Monzó Catalá
108 points

La vacuna y el antiviral para la COVID19, según la UE, lista en un año

Henri Monzó Catalá
20 points

La educación digital es para los pobres y los estúpidos

Enrique TF
38 points
SHARE
TWEET
If someone’s ever accused you of sounding less intelligent because you swear too much, don't worry - science has got your back. A new study has found that those who have a healthy repertoire of curse words at their disposal are more likely to have a richer vocabulary than those who don’t.

People who curse a lot have better vocabularies than those who don't, study finds

This challenges the long-held stereotype that people swear because they can’t find more intelligent words with which to express themselves. As Stephen Fry once said, "The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest is just f*cking lunatic."

Psychologists Kristin Jay and Timothy Jay of Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (not clear if related) came up with the hypothesis that people who are well-versed in curse words are more likely to have greater overall language fluency too.

For the first experiment, they gathered 43 participants (30 women) aged between 18 and 22 years, and first asked them to rattle off as many swear or taboo words as they could in 60 seconds. Next, they had to recite as many animal names as they could in 60 seconds. The researchers used animal names as an indication of a person's overall vocabulary and interest in language.

As any intelligible American English taboo word or phrase was considered fair game, the participants ended up generating a total of 533 taboo words, including the rather obscure "cum dumpster" and "ass pirate". The participants also submitted to so-called FAS tasks, which are standardised verbal fluency tests.

In a second experiment, another 49 participants (34 women) aged between 18 and 22 were asked to perform a similar task - this time they were asked to write down as many curse words and animal names starting with the letter "a" as they could. They also completed FAS tasks to assess their overall language fluency.

Publishing in the journal Language Sciences, the researchers also found that expressive curse words were generated at higher rates than slurs, and there was little difference between what the female and male participants could come up with. "[C]onsistent with findings that do not show a sex difference in taboo lexicon size, no overall sex difference in taboo word generation was obtained," they report.

They found that the ability to generate curse words was not an index of overall language poverty - in fact, they found that taboo fluency is positively correlated with other measures of verbal fluency.

"That is, a voluminous taboo lexicon may better be considered an indicator of healthy verbal abilities rather than a cover for their deficiencies," the researchers conclude. "Speakers who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately. The ability to make nuanced distinctions indicates the presence of more rather than less linguistic knowledge, as implied by the POV [Poverty of Vocabulary] view."

Now, of course, it should be said that the sample size for this study was small, but until a larger cohort can be assessed, we can look to one of the greatest living masters of the English language, Stephen Fry, for his view. Watch below as he discusses the joys of swearing, and feel that sweet, sweet vindication. But just remember: dropping "ass pirate" into a job interview is still not advised.

Fuente: www.sciencealert.com
SHARE
TWEET
To comment you must log in with your account or sign up!
Featured content