Marylanders Are The Second-Biggest Swearers In The Nation | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Marylanders Are The Second-Biggest Swearers In The Nation

Those in the D.C. region are no strangers to swearing.
Sandra Cuccia:
Those in the D.C. region are no strangers to swearing.
Click to see the full map.

Residents of Maryland and Virginia have a lot of things in common, like a shared enmity for Metro delays, exhorbitant home prices, and a preference for "coke" over "pop." According to a report, however, there's one thing that distinguishes the two states: the use of curse words.

Maryland ranks as the second most profanity-prone state in the nation, behind only Ohio. That stands in stark contrast to Virginians, who were among the least likely to curse in the country. Only the relatively polite states of Washington, Massachusetts, Arizona and Texas were less colorful in their use of language.

The data was compiled in May by the Marchex Institute — the data arm of the advertising firm Marchex — and resurfaced again this week by The Atlantic. It includes the analysis of more than 600,000 recordings of phone calls made to consumer-facing businesses across the country over the span of 12 months.

In other words, they aggregated all those instances where callers heard the words "your call may be recorded for training or monitoring purposes." Companies included in the data ran the gamut from cable service providers to auto dealerships.

Also included are some other tidbits which aren't likely to surprise anybody who has ever had to sit on hold with a customer service representative. Cursing is much more common in calls that last more than 10 minutes, and early morning calls are twice as likely to prompt obscenities than those in the afternoon and evening.

It remains unclear whether a willingness to shout expletives while speaking to customer service translates into a more general use of dirty words in everyday life. And for that matter, Virginians may well be saving their four-letter words for driving on the Beltway.

Because while Maryland residents may be prone to profanity, they also ranked in third place in a second important measure of manners: the use of "please" and "thank you."


Book Review: 'The Uses Of The Body,' Deborah Landau

Poet Tess Taylor reviews The Uses of the Body by Deborah Landau.

Do Organic Farmers Need Special Seeds And Money To Breed Them?

Organic farmers say they need crop varieties that were bred specifically for conditions on their farms. Clif Bar & Company decided to back their cause with up to $10 million in grants.

So Far, So Good For The Economy. But What About The Second Half?

The Labor Department's June report showed decent job growth, with unemployment dipping to 5.3 percent. In fact, 2015's first half was fairly good. But economists see dangers lurking in the back half.

How Salt + Car Battery = Clean Water

A clever device uses technology developed by the military to make chlorine quickly and cheaply. The goal is to give schools and hospitals around the world an easy way to purify water.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.