How many swear words can you think of in one minute?
That’s essentially the test a team of cognitive scientists at Marist College used earlier this year in an attempt to peg a correlation between an individual’s fluency with curse words and their command of a language as a whole.
But that’s not exactly true.
The test — which is called a COWAT (Controlled Word Association Test — prompts subjects to think of as many words as they can that start with the same letter in a limited timeframe. The subjects then tackle a similar test prompting them to think of as many “taboo” words as possible in the same timeframe.
Results demonstrated a positive correlation between a robust vocabulary and a robust command of obscenities.
What that absolutely does not mean: that swearing a lot means you’re more articulate.
What it does mean: that swearing creatively means you’re more articulate.
So the next time you need a good insult, don’t reach for a common F-Bomb or C***sucker. Opt for a deeper cut. Inspiration below.