Range of terms demonstrates your intellectual capabilities. And your swearing might not just signal smarts. Read along to find out what other benefits your filthy mouth may give you.
From the moment your mum threatened to wash your mouth out with soap, you know certain “dirty” words pack greater power, says Richard Stephens, author of BlackSheep: The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad.
As a scientist, Richard was curious to see how that power translated physically. So in several experiments, he asked lucky volunteers to hold their hands in ice- cold buckets of water until they just couldn’t stand the pain.
When allowed to utter their favourite foul word, participants stayed submerged longer, had a steadier heart rate, and reported less agony than when they repeated a neutral word instead.
That’s because swearing seems to provoke an emotional response similar to fight- or-flight, releasing a surge of adrenalin that dampens pain signals to the brain, he says.
Scientists call this type of cursing – designed to express emotions or let off steam – “annoyance swearing.” That’s in contrast to social swearing, or using foul language to fit/ boost group cohesion. though, you may want to keep your swearing on mute until you’ve learned the corporate lingo. Then model your mouth after what the higher-ups are doing. Or better yet, keep any profanity you do use among colleagues of the same level. And remember: Swear about something – say, the crappy weather – not at someone.