The history of swearing dates back to at least the Anglo-Saxon days, which means that Twitter has only been around for a smidgen of the time that humans have been leveling verbal filth at one another. But Twitterâwhich provides a constant stream of raw data about how we communicate with each otherâis also giving academics new opportunities to study that old, old habit.
At aÂ conference about social computingÂ held this week, three researchers from Ohioâs Wright State University presented a paper on the subject of cursing, analyzing more than 50 million tweets to find out how much Twitter users curse, when they curse and what types of users are most drawn to four-letter words. As withÂ any research on Twitter, the results come with caveatsâlike the sample not being completely random and certain attributes for users being unknown. That said, here are 10 takeaways fromÂ the studyÂ led by PhD researcher Wenbo Wang, with results drawn from some 14 million users: