Cursing, Swearing, Cussing: Profanity on Twitter!



Recently, I have notice a surplus of cursing on my twitter feed. I believe this has a lot to do with the time of year it is, possibly because of Football season, or the nearing end of baseball season with the recent ACLS and now getting into the world series. People tend to express their excitement, anger and other heightened emotions by using profanity.  This left me curious as to which curse words are used the most on Twitter. I found a comical article which, breaks down “Twitter’s 7 Dirty Words- Which U.S. States Curse The Most” by Shea Bennett. Image

Ironically, New York is considered to fall somewhere in the middle of the countries foulest mouths on Twitter based off research of Twitter’s 7 Dirty Words.  The 7 words listed above were researched and chosen based off of George Carlins rememberable stand up comedy routine “7 dirty words your can never say on television.” The period of this experiment took place through July 3,1, 2011 to July 30, 2013. Within this period, The Marketing Robot tracked more than 55 billion tweets and discovered that some 1.3 billion – approximately one in every forty tweets – contained one of Carlin’s seven dirty words (Bennett).  For some reason this epidemic does not surprise me.  American’s have an intense desire to over- share on social media platforms thus, I am not shocked that this amount of cursing occurs on Twitter.

What really is ironic about this study and the article in general is that its focus points are based off Carlins 7 dirty words. This initially was a skit done by Carlin which discussed 7 dirty words that you can never say on television. At the time of this skit the 7 words were considered highly inappropriate and the skit eventually lead to a Supreme Court Case. “It wasn’t a tough decision, that skit was enough to launch a Supreme Court case in response to its public broadcast, and now millions of people are using those words on social media, which is essentially a public forum, every day.” It crazy how things have changed and become more acceptable over the years. Now cursing in public forums such as Twitter is considered a norm. Overall, the study did not have any set conclusions or answer questions as to why cursing is so popular over Twitter. However, it does leave me to think why this is now socially acceptable? This specifically interests me after our assignment for this class where we were asked to look at our online persona’s.  Companies looking to hire you as their employee often check out your Twitter, Facebook pages etc. Thus it surprises me to think that despite knowing this people so eagerly and easily curse on Twitter.

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7 responses »

  1. Jourdan, I am happy you wrote about this topic because it is something that people need to be aware of today. It is amazing how many curse words I see blow up my social media feeds on an hourly basis. Like you mentioned, potential employeers are going to see all the crazy posts that you put up. Is it really worth it? Is being mad over a game lost really worth screwing up your future? I do not think so. My venting avenue is NOT social media! The same goes with innappropriate photos? Have you ever noticed on Instagram the amount of outrageous photos posted with crazy captions? UNBELIEVEABLE!

    • Liv, I couldn’t agree more! People should get a diary or journal to vent and use swear words. THey should never turn to something as public as Facebook or Twitter to exhibit their emotions in that way. Never mind how unprofessional it is…why would we want to tell the entire world our emotions? It just feels like too much disclosure.

  2. I agree that it is not worth it to curse over social media because it can potentially ruin your career. Awesome point, your venting outlet should never be social media!! I have also noticed on Instagram the insane amount of crazy photos. These include everything from half-clothed to extremely intoxicated people. The captions are often worse then the photos!

    • Instagram is another story. That’s just crazy!! No one wants to see half naked people on something as public as Instagram. I just don’t understand what goes through people’s heads sometimes, I really don’t. Was anyone else surprised by the words that were most used on Twitter? Some of those swears were not commonly used swears in my opinion! THat surprised me.

  3. LOVE this post! I am so against swearing on social media. This was not always the case, but once I really realized that it could affect my career, I’ve really tried to cut it out completely. I think that the openness of people on social media is something that they don’t always even notice they are doing. It’s definitely something people need to start considering. Loved this post and the articles you used!

    • Agree with you, Meg. I used to occassionally drop a couple of harmless swears on Facebook or Twitter, but then when I got older and more mature I realized it just isn’t worth it. If someone who I am looking to employ me gets a hold of my social networks, I want them to know that I am a smart girl, who knows that swearing through these outlets is not a smart move.

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