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Swearing Is Linked to Having an Extensive Vocabulary, According to Research

Kristen Stewart rude finger

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We’re warned from day one that swearing is bad, but it turns out it’s actually quite a good thing to be profanity proficient. No, we’re not just cursing connoisseurs trying to get away with inappropriate language. There’s actually a study that proves the link between swearing and an extensive vocabulary, meaning all those walking thesauruses are probably big ol’ foul mouths too.

That might sound odd to you considering that swear words seem like an easier option than, you know, tame in-the-dictionary words, but research recently published in the Language of Sciences journal (Via Cosmpolitan) says otherwise.

In what we’re sure would’ve been a fun experiment, subjects were asked to say as many swear words that they could think of in 60 seconds. They were then set a non-swearing task, like listing animal names, to complete in the same amount of time.

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The people who gave the most swear words also produced the most amount of words in non-swearing tasks, with psychologists believing that a fluency in cursing is linked to an overall verbal fluency. 

“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 study read. 

Khloe Kardashian

“The overall finding of this set of studies, that taboo fluency is positively correlated with other measures of verbal fluency, undermines the [typical] view of swearing. Speakers who use taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately.”