Editorial: When it comes to cursing online, Hoosiers are among nation’s leaders

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The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette

Pardon our language, but what the cuss is it with Hoosiers and our potty mouths?

According to a recent survey calculating the common usage of naughty words online, Indiana is the seventh swearingest state in the union.

BonusFinder.com analyzed the top “Hot” posts for subreddit pages to determine which states have the worst potty mouths. Hoosiers posting on these subreddit pages tapped out 4.8 cuss words per post.

It’s bad, but it’s not quite New York Friars-Club-roast risque compared to those ahead of us.

In ascending order from Indiana’s seventh place are Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee and Florida. At No. 2 is Ohio – our neighbors dropped bad-word bombs at a soap-in-mouth-worthy 6.7 cuss words per post.

And at No. 1 is Texas, where everything is bigger than life, including cursing online with an average of 6.9 cuss words per post.

Regarding word choice, let’s say that a four-letter word for excrement is a favorite among Texans, Ohioans and Floridians. Indeed, this synonym for dung ranked higher than any other four-letter word you can think of right now.

For you thinking “malarkey” and “balderdash” and calling for a close look at the methodology, this study is all meant in jest.

However, here’s some data that could be a conversation starter: 7.7% of X (then Twitter) posts and 8.9% of Yelp reviews contain at least one swear word, according to a 2022 Journal of Marketing Research study. And that might not be as bad as one might expect.

“Our findings suggest that platforms may benefit from tolerating, rather than censoring or removing, swear words: swear words are powerful communication tools that help readers, especially when they are uncensored and used sparingly,” write the authors of “The Power of Profanity: The Meaning and Impact of Swear Words in Word of Mouth.”