Intelligence and cussing

I participate in an online forum for self-published Kindle authors. A member asked the forum if Amazon would block his book if it contained swearing or blasphemy. He was assured that it would not, but then the thread got into the possible negative reactions of some readers. I pointed out that I don’t like excessive cursing either, but I am realistic enough to know that people do swear in real life and I use it in my writing when a strong expletive is called for or sometimes to show a character as a low-life. (That’s normal people talk for “poorly socialized individual.”)

Another author took great offense at the suggestion that people who swear are in any way less intelligent or less worthy than those who don’t. He cited this study to support the notion that science has proven people who swear are more intelligent than those who don’t. There are several problems with that notion. First, the study shows nothing of the kind. It only shows that smart people have bigger vocabularies than less-smart people, including knowledge of swear words. Duh! Second, studies have actually shown a strong positive correlation between IQ and various class-related behaviors, including swearing. See The Bell Curve for example. In short, the book showed, the more intelligent people behave as low-lifes less often than dumb people. If that weren’t enough, my life experience, and that of a majority of others, is that less intelligent people swear more often. See this link.

What was funny, though, was that the other author called me too judgmental. It’s not exactly a Tom Swifty, but my reply¬† was:

“You should be less judgmental,” Tom said judgmentally.