Social Media Moms

Guest Post by Jim Stroud, Social Media Dad, from The Recruiters Lounge

2 Comments 27 May 2008

This guest post comes from Jim Stroud. Jim is the founder and CEO of The Recruiters Lounge and the tenth in my series featuring social media dads.

The Popularity of Expletives

I was watching the movie - “Akee lah and The Bee” the other day. It is a very charming film about a young girl in her pursuit to win a prestigious spelling contest. I highly recommend it. It is rated PG and for the most part, is family-friendly. However, I had a few moments of discomfort over some of the expletives being used by some of the characters on the film. To be sure, I am not a prude. If I were watching a film about the Mafia or some intense action film, hearing such language would have gone unnoticed. But to hear them in a “family” movie, I was a bit taken a back.

So then I began to wonder, “Just how popular are expletives in the English language and what regions of the world tend to use these words the most?” (These are the type of things that Social Media Dads ponder? Well, I do.)

In case you are unsure what I mean, here is a definition of the word expletive.

ex-ple-tive - [ek-spli-tiv] curse: profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger

So, I did a bit of research. I went over to Google and used their Google Trends tool to see how many of Google’s users are searching for expletives and how often they are cited in the News. The results were surprising! For my study, I chose four expletives that I believed were commonly used in movies. (So as not to offend anyone, I am not spelling out the full words, but blocking letters with an asterix.) Those four words are: Sh*t, F**k, As**ole and D*mn.

In terms of internet searches:

  • By far the “F” word was searched for the most and by a wide margin.
  • The second most popular was Sh*t.
  • The third most popular was D*mn.
  • The fourth most popular was As**ole.

In terms of how many times these expletives were referenced in the news, a different result is revealed.

  • D*mn was the most popular.
  • Sh*t was the second most popular.
  • The “F” word was third most popular.
  • The fourth most popular was As**ole.

Here is a chart detailing the results:

I also thought it curious as to what regions used these words the most. Here are the results from that survey.

  • The “F” word was searched for the most in India
  • Sh*t was most popular in Australia.
  • D*mn was most popular in the United States
  • As**ole was also most popular in the United States.

I am very curious to hear your thoughts on this. How often have you heard these words in common use outside of Movies and Television? (Hearing these words in rush hour traffic does not count.

Follow Jim on Twitter here.

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