Mapping the Sweariest States In the Union


Which cities and states are the most profane? Daniel Huffman decided to find out for himself, and to share the results in convenient heat-map form. And it looks like the Southeast needs to wash its mouth out with soap.

Huffman based his research on geotagged tweets between March and April of 2010. That means a smallish sample size, sure, but you can’t really argue with the black hole of cussin that swallows up Salt Lake City. But what four-letter words were counted, and how? According to Huffman:

I made use of six main swears] that came to mind: fuck, shit, bitch, hell, damn, ass
I was running these through Excel (since I had the Tweet data in a spreadsheet), and I had it simply search for those text strings within the message. In most cases, that meant it was a search along the lines of *fuck*, meaning it would catch “fucker,” “fuckwit,” and other words probably bandied about the UW Cartography Lab in its saltier days. For ass and hell, I kept wildcards out of those words, since there was a chance of catching something like “assume” or “shell” if I did not.

So really, this may not show who curses the most after all; just who does it least creatively.

Update: For those curious in the comments, Huffman confirms that he did in fact normalize for population. So this isn’t just pure volume of cussin, it’s more like the number of profanities per tweet. [Catastrophe via Flowing Data]

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin