I f#@^king love swearing – and it’s very difficult being a teacher who loves swearing. You just can’t help blurting out some inappropriate words here and there, even when you should really avoid it.
Luckily (I suppose), I teach adults. There have been many situations where these words have come in handy to loosen up the tension from learning something very complex, or when simply some students need to understand that I’m also a human being.
And which is more, I can freely say that scientists stand behind my choice of words. Several studies explain why swearing is actually good for you, and here are some of the conclusions made on that subject.
‘Swear’ comes hand in hand with ‘smart’
Research has shown that people who swear have a higher verbal intelligence, busting the myth that swearing is an indicator of poor vocabulary. And it’s true: people who know how to come up with the juiciest of words in the right context need to know a lot about their words.
The study showed that higher IQ is usually accompanied by the ability to produce some high-quality cursing.
Swearing helps you maintain your sanity
Nothing takes that stress off your head like generating a few juicy profanities. It’s no wonder that people find shouting and swearing so therapeutic when they’re caught in the poisonous web of stress.
And Richard Stevens of Keele University has confirmed this in his study on how swearing can alleviate stress, elevate endorphin, and help you calm down. The medical world even has a term for this: lalochezia, meaning the “emotional release gained by uttering indecent or filthy words.”
Swearing makes you funnier
Nothing makes a story funny as adding some profanity to it. And in his book Why We Curse, Dr. Timothy Jay explains why we love some obscenity to spice our jokes up.
He explains that by introducing swearing in our stories, we break free from the neurological control, psychological restraints, and socio-cultural restrictions. Swearing makes the story surprisingly clever, and it elicits an emotional response and excitement.
People like working with potty mouths
If you like swearing, your colleagues will like you even more, shows a study from Wrike. While the workplace is not generally considered as the most appropriate place to drop F-bombs, it was discovered that the majority of people deployed them regularly, and a lot prefer working in places where swearing is commonplace.
Swearing instead of a painkiller
Next time you bump your little toe on a corner, don’t be shy to shout out a swear-word. While not exactly a painkiller, research has shown that swearing can raise your tolerance to pain.
Now, don’t imagine a potty-mouth in labor.
Swearing to get the aggression out
Aggression is not the most beautiful of things, but it would be much worse to bash someone’s head in than to yell out a juicy swear-word (or expression). Psychologist Timothy Jay agrees with this in Why We Curse, explaining that swearing replaces the “more primitive physical aggressions.”
And finally, once you’re done with your obscene rant, you do feel some kind of closure, don’t you?
So, here’s to all the potty-mouths out there! There’s nothing wrong with you (although you already know that, don’t you?) Of course, some decorum is in order in some situations, so let’s be civilized, right?
Well… maybe not.