Science now shows that people who swear more have a larger vocabulary. Popular belief is that people swear because they can’t find more intelligent words to say. So if you have ever been accused of being less intelligent because of you swearing, you can now back up your argument with the facts.
Psychologist Kristin Jay and Timothy Jay of Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts came up with a theory that people who have a great arsenal of curse words also have an extensive vocabulary.
To test out their hypotheses they gathered 43 people to participate in a study. They asked them to say as many swear words as they could in 60 seconds, then they had them recite as many animal names as they could in the same time frame. They used the animal names a representation of the persons vocabulary. The second part of their test was basically the same thing but instead they had them write the words down instead of saying them.
They found that the people in the study were able to produce more animal names after saying 60 seconds of curse words. This study is published in the journal of Language Sciences for anyone wanting to read the details.
The sample size was small for this study, the first part had 43 and the second part had 49, but the results were strong. Stephen Fry shares his view on swearing with us.