Dag-nabbit! Office workers swear 55 times a week on average—How do you stack up?
The modern workplace is stressful. So when the printer revolts against its master, or your colleague somehow burns tuna fish in the microwave again, or your boss's latest bungle proves the Peter Principle—a well-placed swear word might seem very attractive.
According to a study done by UK telecom firm 4com, a UK office worker hears an average of 11 curse words from colleagues each day. For those counting along at home, that's 55 foul-mouthings in a workweek. But that's on average. The upper tenth percentile of workers claimed 25 profanities a day, for a weekly average of 125.
Do these numbers seem high or low to you?
Cussing, swearing, cursing—all the same?
Now you might be thinking, "But these are UK workers! Their conditions might be different, and what's more, they don't even swear right!"
Blimey, I've overdipped my biscuit—and you might be right. Here are their study's most commonly-used swear words along with their frequency (censored, naturally, but feel free to skip over if asterisks don't lessen the impact enough):
- F**k – 68 percent
- S**t – 58 percent
- B****y – 35 percent
- B******s – 31 percent
- P*** Off- 30 percent
- B*****d – 29 percent
- T**t – 24 percent
- A******e – 22 percent
- D**k – 21 percent
- B***h – 20 percent
- W****r – 20 percent
- C**t – 19 percent
- A**e – 15 percent
- C**k – 11 percent
- Sl*t – 9 percent
You'll notice several of these are Britishisms, so you probably don't hear all of these in an American office.
When asked about how they censored themselves, the workers divided into these categories:
- I try to never use offensive language in front of colleagues —19 percent
- I rarely hold back and only occasionally censor my language at work — 25 percent
- I never filter my speech and always say whatever comes to mind — 12 percent
According to the research, the most obscene group is middle management. In fact, 28 percent of workers said supervisors and line managers swore the most, with entry-level and admin staff tied for second with 18 percent.
Catering staff and interns cuss the least, at 1 percent and 3 percent respectively.
In everyone's defense, cursing supposedly raises our pain tolerance by approximately 50 percent.
Cursing raises our pain tolerance by about 50%.— Fact (@Fact) October 16, 2019
I mean, if Twitter says it, then it must be true, right?
How well does this study reflect your workplace reality? What do you do when work is frustrating and you feel a diaphragmatic outburst coming on? Tell us in the comments!