A study published last year in the American Journal of Psychology collected “data about the emergence of adult like swearing in children.” The authors, Timothy Jay and Kristin Jay, recorded observations of children ages 1 through 12 and adults using taboo utterances, which “were described as offensive words and phrases (e.g. fuck), insults or name calling (e.g. douchebag), and clinical terms (e.g. penis), as well as abusive expressions (e.g. I hate you).”...I think I was in third grade when I got in trouble for first dropping an F-bomb. Slightly ahead of schedule, I guess.
If you’re wondering about how the frequency of words in a child’s vocabulary can decline, the breakdown provides some clues. For 1- and 2-year-olds, the most frequently used taboo word was “poop” or “poopy,” but it quickly falls in usage as children become older. The researchers’ data showed that “the taboo lexicon emerges early and shifts over time” in such a way that as kids age, they have more bad words in common with adults.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Chart of the Day - Profanity Edition