The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

F is for f*&k and other profanities #atozchallenge

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F is for f*&k and other profanities #atozchallenge

Apr 7, 2021 | Hills to die on, Featured, Geekery, Language, linguistics, Non-fiction, Writing, Books, AtoZ challenge 2021 | 4 comments

Actually, it’s not….really. Made you look 😉
I wanted to get your attention – what I actually want to talk about is language, but profanities, and our use of them, apparently dictates how linguistically intelligent we are.

Not quite yet…

I don’t quite buy into the studies that suggest that if we swear, we’re more intelligent. What I do agree with is if you can express yourself in varied and interesting ways, you are probably more intelligent, so it’s possibly a false indicator, as it was suggested in a 2016 study there was no correlation between profanity and the use of cussing and intelligence, but instead, it’s to do with the wish to extend vocabulary.

I’m really interested in linguistics, so I thought that this was a phenomenon I wanted to start talking about it more. So, my quick post today is about swearing, and asking you guys what you think.

Do you think it’s a sign of intelligence on it’s own, or do you think it’s more to do with whether you’re working on extending your vocabulary and finding different ways to express things?

(also, I’ll be re-releasing ‘The Secret Language of Fiction’ edition 2 soon, watch this space! – well, actually, watch my book announcements page!)


  1. Lynnette Forest

    I think you’re probably right and it’s more about vocabulary. I do find language and linguistics fascinating.

  2. jlennidorner

    What fascinates me the most about cursing is the relation to Tourette’s Syndrome. Especially with children who are too young to know what a curse word is, and yet they’ll pick up on it and use it. What are people “putting out” that these individuals pick up on? Have you ever seen the brain scans of people cursing versus not cursing? It’s some really interesting stuff.

    It’s hard to believe the blogging challenge is almost over for 2021. Then the after survey, reflections, and the road trip sign-up.
    Plus, I’m taking part in the Bout of Books read-a-thon in May. So much excitement!
    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    • Kai

      I have. I was part of one of the experiments – I’ve discovered I don’t like functional MRIs 😉
      As to some of Tourette’s – it’s not *actually* deliberate, based on what I’ve seen. We make certain sounds, we string them together in English, they’re swearing. In other languages? Gibberish. Older adults might because of amygdala damage, but it’s not really something I studied beyond understanding it to check something that was suggested to me.
      I really enjoyed the AtoZ, though, next year, more planning!


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