BY: JESSICA BEUKER
It was the year 2001; I was in fifth grade and enjoying afternoon recess with my two best friends when they decided to subject me to the ultimate form of childhood torture – tickling.
Before I continue, it is important to note that I am incredibly ticklish, and therefore, I despise the entire act more than anything. There are exactly two seconds of nervous laughter before I succumb to a state of panic, where I kindly ask the tickler to “seriously, please stop it.” But to a friend, the words ‘stop it’ mean nothing, as friends are in your life to annoy (and in this case cause you complete agony) no matter what. The next phase of tickling happens all too abruptly. I become aggressive and violent, kicking and hitting and making the Incredible Hulk look Zen as hell.
So, during the terrible tickling attack, I yelled something I had never yelled before. “FUCKING STOP IT AND GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME.” The words slipped through my lips with such force, that they nearly knocked my friends right over. And then, silence. I did it. I swore for the very first time and despite the shameful looks I was receiving, it felt amazing.
That single incident opened up the door to vulgarity and ripped it right off. I will admit that, still to this day, I do not swear in front of my parents or grandparents out of respect, or in certain public places such as a professional workplace. But around my closest friends and relatives, I curse like a sailor and without shame.
People have often associated vulgar language with laziness, sloppiness and rudeness; it’s often thought of as words used by the uneducated. But a study published last month in Language Sciences found a correlation between vulgar language and overall stronger language skills.
According to Good Magazine, psychologists Kristin and Timothy Jay pit two competing language theories against one another in order to determine where swear words fit into our broader language. Basically, “Does ample swearing serve to prop up an otherwise weak expressive tool kit, or does a robust vulgar vernacular simply indicate a healthier vocabulary as a whole?”
The study worked like this: participants would rattle off as many “taboo words” as possible within a 60 second timeframe. After that, they were asked to do the same thing, but with a harmless subject, such as animal names. Then they compared the lists and found that those who could list more swear words were also able to list more words in other categories. This fluency led to the connection between swearing and an overall larger vocabulary.
Furthermore, because the terms were categorized, researchers determined that the “speakers who used taboo words understand their general expressive content as well as nuanced distinctions that must be drawn to use slurs appropriately,” according to Good Magazine.
And there are other benefits of swearing, too. Elite Daily outlines a few of these benefits, which include helping you feel less pain, which, if you’ve ever cursed after stubbing your big toe, then you know just how cathartic it feels, emphasizing a point and creating closer bonds with people. Many individuals are more drawn to people who swear because it makes them seem down to earth and honest.
So whether you’re a regular curser, or you drop an F-bomb only when the need arises, know that this isn’t a bad thing. Swearing can actually be fucking good for you.