Teaching & Learning

Where the Potty-Mouths Are

What region has the foulest mouths on the Internet? The Southeast does, according to geography lecturer Daniel Huffman MS’10. Analyzing data from Twitter, Huffman looked at the prevalence of six different swear words. (We won’t reproduce them here, as we don’t want to inadvertently drive up Wisconsin’s cuss-quotient.) Using 1.5 million geocoded public Twitter posts (i.e., “tweets”) as his dataset, Huffman calculated the frequency of swearing — how often one of his six words was used per 500 tweets. Those calculations were the basis for this map. The bright areas indicate the highest rate of swearing. Curiously, Madison appears to fall in an area of relatively clean language.


Published in the Summer 2011 issue


  • G. Holcomb June 17, 2011

    I liked this article as did my colleagues with whom I shared it. Where can I find the six “swear words” used in Daniel Huffman’s study? I also wonder if those who post tweets are representative of the US population regarding use of swear words?

  • R. Cohen June 21, 2011

    Which of George Carlin’s seven words was left out?

    I wonder if those who spelled the words completely enough to be measured are representative of those who tweet.

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