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Science Says People Who Curse Are More Fluent In Languages

Science Says People Who Curse Are More Fluent In Languages

It’s a common misconception that people who curse a lot are not as smart as people who don’t. You’ll often hear people say things like “Profanity is a sign of limited intelligence.” Or “Curse words are just a dumb person’s way of filling a sentence.” However, a new study has found that those who have a healthy repertoire of curse words at their disposal are more likely to have a richer vocabulary and higher language fluency than those who don’t. This challenges the long-held stereotype that people swear because they can’t find more intelligent words with which to express themselves.

“A voluminous taboo lexicon may better be considered an indicator of healthy verbal abilities,” reads the study, published in the November issue of Language Sciences.

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The Study

For the first experiment, they gathered 43 participants aged between 18 and 22 years, and first asked them to rattle off as many swear or taboo words as they could in 60 seconds. Next, they had to recite as many animal names as they could in 60 seconds. The researchers used animal names as an indication of a person’s overall vocabulary and interest in language and words. In social science this is known as the Controlled Oral Word Association Test.

The participants also submitted to so-called FAS tasks, which are standardized verbal fluency tests.

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In a second experiment, another 49 participants aged between 18 and 22 were asked to perform a similar task – this time they were asked to write down as many curse words and animal names starting with the letter “A” as they could. They also completed FAS tasks to assess their overall language fluency.

Conclusion

Psychologists Kristin Jay and Timothy Jay basically concluded this:

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“A folk assumption about colloquial speech is that taboo words are used because speakers cannot find better words with which to express themselves: because speakers lack vocabulary. A competing possibility is that fluency is fluency regardless of subject matter—that there is no reason to propose a difference in lexicon size and ease of access for taboo as opposed to emotionally neutral words.”

Verbal intelligence is a huge professional advantage, not to mention a life skill that many people lack. So, go forth and swear with impunity! But just because there is a link between swear words and wider vocabularies, that does not mean that you should be throwing those words around job interviews or your grandparents anniversary party! Part of what the researchers found was the ability to understand nuances and context in swearing and showing that those people knew and understood more words and wider vocabularies. So, while it’s awesome that you’re smarter, remember to use your intelligence and know your audience!

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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