Do you swear a lot? People who don’t swear at all must have a hell of a fu!king time in their lives. I can’t imagine never being able to enjoy the necessary, if brief, catharsis that a good swear word can deliver. It’s also an integral method of communication. No, I’m fu!king serious! But now a study from 2017 has drawn an amazing correlation between swearing and honesty. Vulgar people tend to be more honest! The study is called, “Frankly, We Do Give a Damn: The Relationship Between Profanity and Honesty.” This will give us all a lot to think about!
PEOPLE WHO WON’T SAY FU!K MORE LIKEY TO TELL FU!KING LIES
Cerebral entertainers have offered similar opinions about the connection. One of the best and acerbic quotes is from the inestimable Stephen Fry. Fry thinks those square rubes need to get off their high horses. He said, “the sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or of a lack of verbal interest is just a fucking lunatic.” And now, there’s a study that proves Fry is offering his opinion from an empirically more honest perspective. It shows that people who use swear words are more honest. But there’s more! It’s not just comedians who deliver their missives from a more honest place as individuals. The vulgarity honesty connection also translates from individuals to society itself!
A VULGAR SOCIETY IS A MORE HONEST SOCIETY
The published study notes that “the consistent findings across the studies suggest that the positive relation between profanity and honesty is robust, and that relationship found at the individual level indeed translates to the society level.” People who are willing to swear also tend to break normative rules. Isn’t it interesting that in a certain way rule-breaking is related to honesty? So what does this mean for politics? How about religious prudes? I wonder if the Nazis used to swear a lot? They didn’t break the ugliest of normative rules. Look how that turned out….
STUDY MEASURED SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTIONS OF 276 PEOPLE WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL HONESTY BASELINE
The study initially consisted of 276 people who reported on their swearing habits in detail. Each of them then took a psychological test designed to measure their honesty level. Then, the researchers looked at more than 70,000 social media interactions. The data they assembled showed strong correlations between vulgarity and honesty. Specifically, that “profanity and honesty were found to be significantly and positively correlated, indicating that those who used more profanity were more honest in their Facebook status updates.”
BUT WIDER SCOPE PROVED THE SAME TO BE TRUE FOR SOCIETY ITSELF
But then the study’s architects went macro with their lens and looked at 48 US states. They successfully correlated measures of government accountability with social media data. They found that more vulgar states had higher integrity scores! Somehow, New Jersey’s population had some of the highest integrity scores! Too bad about their outgoing governor… The study concluded that “At both the individual and society level, we found that a higher rate of profanity use was associated with more honesty.” Isn’t that fu!king great? This piece is a no bullshit contribution to society.
WILL SMITH LIKELY TO HAVE NO HONEST FU!KING OPINION
But we might all want to take another look at notorious soap-mouths like Will Smith…. Clint Eastwood is another prude who made up his own curse word to hide behind. Candace Cameron Bure doesn’t like foul language. Too bad Bob Saget didn’t help her on Full House! So Justin Bieber will never use swear words in his lyrics. I’ll leave it at that. Compare Bieber to Eminem! We all know who’s more honest. Jay-Z built his career using swear words but has toned it down since his daughter was born. That seems fine. Taylor Swift has some strong opinions against swearing. But I really don’t want to talk about Swift. Honestly.
Food for fu1king thought! So now I have to think about honest Abe and what he must have been like in person!