Do you curse on Twitter?
If the answer is yes, we’re not surprised. But which curse words do you tweet most and how many times? Students from Wright State University have published a study that focuses on cursing in English on Twitter. The study breaks down four major research topics: ubiquity, utility, contextual variables, and who says curse words to whom on Twitter.
Ubiquity covers how often people curse and which curse words they use the most while tweeting.
This graph conveniently shows that the top five curse words are fuck, shit, ass, bitch and nigga. It's not surprising that "fuck" is the most popular because of its versatility but who knew it fucking owned the competition.
Utility covers why people use curse words. Studies show that curse words are not necessarily used to offend but more likely to be used to express intense emotion. This graph shows that Monday kicks off the highest number of tweets with curses, which makes sense because everyone fucking hates Mondays.
Contextual Variables cover the context behind the cursing. Who did you curse to? When did you curse? How did you use curse words in your tweet? The study states that the context of cursing activity is defined by variables with whom the cursing is directed towards.
The students also found evidence that "people are most likely to swear in relaxed environments than in formal environments" in real life, but that does not mean the same for digital communication—like tweeting. It's more difficult to pinpoint hard data in digital communication because there hasn't been an accurate way to comb through data yet. But analyzing social media is the most effective way for now.
The last topic covers who tweets curses to whom? This graph is particularly interesting because of it's focus on gender. According to the study, males tweet the most curse words to other males out of all gender combinations. The study also states that, "people's power or social rank also plays a role in cursing."
To read the complete report, click here.