Every few days, I read a headline that implies that some weird personality trait of mine (e.g. not being able to ‘do’ life very well) doesn’t make me a typical, flawed human being, but an extremely intelligent one.
I like the people who write these articles. They work for a noble cause and are responsible for a majority of my remaining self-esteem. And now, apparently, there’s research to suggest that three very unexpected traits are linked to a higher IQ.
And, unsurprisingly, I have all of them.
Lots of swearing = very intelligent.
So this statement fundamentally ignores the nuances of scientific research BUT it does have some basis in truth.
Essentially, for a long time, people believed that those who swear a lot have a "restricted vocabulary." They swear because they don't have beautifully eloquent ways to describe how it feels when someone steps on your toe, or how heinously cute a puppy is on the street. Intelligent people, on the other hand, have such a nuanced vocabulary that they simply don't need to swear.
Well, science is now calling bulls**t.
To the contrary, researchers have found "fluency is fluency regardless of subject matter," such that intelligent people are really good at swearing, because they're good at language in general. In one particular study, people with the highest IQ also happened to be those who most excelled at recalling swear words.