#@*%!: The benefits of swearing

by Jackson K, Saarang B, and Atli A.

Many Blach students have a large swear-word vocabulary, and this might be to their advantage. Studies have suggested swearing may decrease feelings of pain or sadness. It can also relieve stress and make you physically stronger.

As we all hopefully agree on, swearing loudly in public is obnoxious. In fact, it is illegal in Virginia. The specifics of the law are confusing as it isn’t often used. The law uses the term “Profane swearing.” Technically, anyone can be fined $250 for this class 4 misdemeanor.

But despite the issues swearing can cause, it can have some useful benefits. The foremost is the ability to withstand pain. According to a study by Keele University in the United Kingdom, students could withstand the pain of their hands being submerged in ice-water when they were dropping “f-bombs” rather than neutral language.

One theory could be,  swearing raises your adrenaline levels and heart rate because it triggers your “fight or flight” instinct. These psychological responses allow us to resist more pain than usual.

Profanity has also been shown to increase physical performance. In one study by Dr. Richard Stephens, participants pedaled against resistance and squeezed a hand dynamometer, which is an instrument to measure power. When participants repeated a swear word, they performed considerably better than when they repeated a neutral word.

Also, when Dr. Emma Byrne conducted a test to prove swearing can reduce stress, she gave the test group a difficult task and told the control group not to swear, and the experimental group they could. The experimental group had better results and reported having less stress.

Another benefit of swearing is it makes you physically stronger although only temporarily. Researchers concluded that swearing increases your overall strength and allows you to put more force into what you are doing.

One of the other perks of swearing is that it can be a non-violent outlet, according to Psych Central. When you feel anger, swearing can help you release your anger without physical violence. Also, when you communicate with swearing, it calls attention to what you say, BBC says. When you swear while you are making an important point, it seems more emphatic. This is especially effective when chastising a peer or subordinate because it induces fear and ordinance.

Although profanity is often perceived as rude, offensive and unacceptable, swearing isn’t all bad. This is exemplified by the benefits of swearing that are associated with strength and rage. But the opinion on cursing will always be mixed. Next time someone swears in your exalted presence, don’t hurry to criticize them.


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