Independent.co.uk reports in the Language Sciences journal conducted a study on psychologists Kristin and Timothy Jay. They were asked to say as many different swear words they could think of in 60 seconds.
In the journal entry, the co-authors wrote: “We cannot help but judge others on the basis of their speech. 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.”
Results showed those who could produce the largest amount of swear words could also produce the most words in other categories. Other non-swearing tasks including saying as many animal names in 60 seconds were also done to compare findings.
Jay and Jay noted: “The overall finding that taboo fluency is positively correlated with other measures of verbal fluency, undermines the POV [Poverty of Vocabulary] view of swearing. That is, a voluminous taboo lexicon may better be considered an indicator of healthy verbal abilities rather than a cover for their deficiencies.”