November 24, 2017 – I cuss. I curse. I swear.
More eloquently put, I express myself in colorful dysphemisms.
This kind of questionable language is not only fine by me, it’s fine by science, damn it. If we trust science to discover our medicine, send people into space and create wonders like Megan Fox, we can trust it to allow me to say things like “&*%#^$” and “colorful dysphemisms.”
A study conducted at the University of Rochester, New York, discovered intelligent people curse. A lot. A whole (stream of unintelligible gutter slang) lot. Although foul language is often associated with—according to my mother—people who’ve been raised by wolves, the study published in the journal Language Science showed just the opposite. People with higher IQs can rattle off more curse words within a minute than any wolf.
This makes my yelling at TV announcers during a football game seem less like evidence of psychosis and more like witty banter.
You can breathe a sigh of relief, family.
However, this free use of language comes at a cost. My wife, who was raised in a relatively polite family, rarely cursed when we got married. Now, after 15 years in a house with me, she drops F-bombs like a B-2 pilot trying to make the world safe for rackin’ frackin’ democracy.
Not that this is a bad thing. According to Psychology Today, there are a number of benefits to swearing.
Pain relief. Cursing helps dull those ouchies. In a study out of Keele University, people who swore while trying to withstand pain could handle more than those who did not.
Increased self-confidence. People who curse feel more in control of a situation. I can only assume that crazy look in their eye doesn’t hurt.
A less punchy alternative. Cursing can help diffuse a potentially violent situation. If it doesn’t, you now know what to do to relieve the pain.
You mean business. Dropping a few socially unacceptable words gets people’s attention.
Bonding. A little playful cursing lets people know you’re freakin’ awesome. And who wouldn’t want to hang out with someone who’s freakin’ awesome? Remember, this is from Psychology Today, and smart people read Psychology Today.
Cursing is healthy. Medically, swearing has been shown to increase circulation. Swearing also releases endorphins, which make us feel great. Double down with a, “Damn, those &*%#^$ tacos look good,” and you’ve got yourself a winning formula for lunchtime.
However, there are some negatives to cursing.
• Invitations to be a high school commencement speaker are surprisingly low.
• People look at you funny in church.
• You’re rarely asked to say the blessing at family dinners.
• Your child’s teacher suddenly gets a look of understanding during parent-teacher conferences.
• Your list of friends gradually loses anyone who’s never tried home repair. Those who have understand.
• Small ears hear big words.
The positives of cursing, however, seem to outweigh the negatives. To make sure, let me ask this: Putting out a swear jar for our children doesn’t reflect poorly on us as parents, right?
Find out about everything Jason at jasonoffutt.com.