Swearing may sound a little classless at times and some even believe it’s a sign of lower intelligence, but that’s just not true. Finding a polite way to say things certainly has its place, but letting it all hang out has its advantages. If you like to swear a lot, don’t be embarrassed. Here are 5 advantages of having a sailor’s vocabulary.
1. You Have A High IQ
Studies have shown that a person’s IQ and breadth of vocabulary is positively correlated with their swearing capability. “In other words,” says Benjamin K. Bergen, Professor of cognitive sciences at UC San Diego and author of What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains and Ourselves, “the more they can swear, the higher their verbal and general IQ appears to be.”
2. You’re More Sincere
A study by several universities found a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty: “profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level, and with higher integrity at the society level,” the research concluded.
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The paper goes on to say that profanity can be positively associated with honesty: “It is often used to express one’s unfiltered feelings (e.g., anger, frustration) and sincerity. Innocent suspects, for example, are more likely to use swear words than guilty suspects when denying accusations (Inbau, Reid, Buckley, & Jayne, 2011). Accordingly, people perceive testimonies containing swear words as more credible.”
3. You’re Strong
New research finds swearing can make you stronger physically by improving muscle strength and stamina.
Keele University psychologists conducted two experiments. In the first, participants completed a single short, intense period on an exercise bike – after both swearing and not swearing. In the second, 52 participants completed an isometric handgrip test, again after both swearing and not swearing.
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Results showed that participants produced more power if they had sworn in the first experiment and a stronger handgrip if they had sworn in the second experiment. The study’s lead author, Dr. Richard Stephens, says swearing makes people more able to tolerate pain.
A possible reason for this is that it stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system – that’s the system that makes your heart pound when you are in danger. If that is the reason, we would expect swearing to make people stronger too – and that is just what we found in these experiments.
4. You’re Resilient
Dr. Stephens and his fellow researchers also found that cursing is an emotional release, thus, helping us feel more resilient in times of need.
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In one study, participants were asked to play video games that were aggressive in nature. Stephens told The Daily Mail that the video games made people feel more aggressive so their language became more emotional and they swore. “We want to use more taboo words when we are emotional. We grow up learning what these words are and using these words while we are emotional can help us to feel stronger. Some words are more taboo than others – but the effects can be greater, the stronger the word,” stated Stephens.