For some, swearing has long been held as the preserve of the uneducated.
Indeed, a famous religious leader once commented that “profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly.”
Of course, as anyone who enjoys a good swear knows, it’s simple not true.
And now there’s scientific proof to back it up.
A study, published in the Language Sciences Journal, found that foul-mouthed people in fact have a greater vocabulary than those who abstain.
Those who are more confident using rude words tend to be be more articulate, the report found.
The experiment – which sounds mightily fun – asked participants to say as many curse words as they could in a minute.
They were then asked do the same with animals in the same amount of time.
The result? Those who swore the most could also name the most animals.
Psychologists Kristin and Timothy Jay said this proves that those who curse have a wider vocabulary.
They said: “We cannot help but judge others on the basis of their speech.
“Unfortunately, when it comes to taboo language, it is a common assumption that people who swear frequently are lazy, do not have an adequate vocabulary, lack education, or simply cannot control themselves.
“The overall finding of this set of studies, that taboo fluency is positively correlated with other measures of verbal fluency, undermines the [normal] view of swearing.”
Indeed, given the sheer number of potty-mouthed writers and other intellectuals from history, it makes a lot of sense.
As the author Mark Twain famously put it: “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.“
(Credit: Anna Frodesiak/ Wikimedia Commons)