A study reported on this week revealed some interesting insights into swearing.
First up, and unless your name is Ned Flanders, you probably already know this, it is actually rather satisfying to swear. But why?
Researchers say that it is the act of breaking a taboo…breaching social etiquette, that is the reason. That swearing is akin to the more primeval act of screaming.
It was also noted that inserting swear words into what you are saying is a really effective way of conveying emotion – and replacing swearwords with less potty-mouthed terms simply did not have the same effect.
Lucky us! Maybe there would not be a need for copywriters if everyone could just say their s*** was f****** amazing.
Interestingly, the study also suggested that people who swore a lot actually had a better than average vocabulary. The authors of the study said that using profanity was linked to verbal fluency. If you want some homework, try listing as many swear words as you can in 60 seconds followed by as many animals as you can in 60 seconds. That was what this study was based upon. We’ve no idea what the bench mark is, but apparently there is a correlation.
So, using swear words could be seen as a shortcut to getting your message across effectively. It would certainly be eye-catching! But we would not recommend it!
The second most complained about advert in 2015 was one from Booking.com. Complaints focused on the company’s play on words replacing one of our stronger swear words with the word ‘booking’. The complaints though, were not upheld. The ASA deemed that it could not be mistaken for a swear word and would not encourage swearing amongst children. However, it shows how even having a little fun and skirting around the edge of profanity can potentially land you in hot water.
So, if the shortcut of swear words is out, you may need a little expert help crafting your marketing message. On Point Copywriting can help your business come up with ideas, write, edit and proof read. Contact us to discuss your specific needs.
And if you fancy taking the swear word challenge to see how verbally fluent you are, why not share your results in the comments below? Please no list of swear words though. Just a ratio of swear words to animals e.g. 21:35.