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article imageCanadians swear more than Americans and Brits, study says

By Heidi Lowry     Aug 5, 2010 in Lifestyle
Over half of Canadians who responded to an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll said they swear occasionally to frequently when talking to their friends. Other cussing habits were also documented.
More Canadians admit to using foul language around friends than Americans or Brits. In a recent Angus Reid Public Opinion poll, conducted by surveying panelists at three online forums, 56 percent of Canadians revealed they use foul language with friends, while 51 percent of Brits and 46 percent of Americans said they did the same.
They also swear more around their families. Twenty-seven percent of Canadian survey respondents said they avoid using expletives in earshot of family members, while 33 percent of Brits and 32 percent of Americans refrain from cursing around family. Americans, on the other hand, said they are more likely to hear their relatives using course language (21 percent). Seventeen percent of Canadians and 13 percent of Brits said they hear family members swear frequently.
Overall, Brits are most likely to notice when strangers swear in their presence. Thirty-five percent of British respondents said they encounter curse words when speaking with strangers, while only 23 percent of Canadians and 21 percent of Americans said they frequently hear strangers using swear words in conversation. At 61 percent, the British are also less likely to cuss in front of people they don't know (58 percent of Americans and 56 percent of Canadians boasted the same thing).
At work, Americans tend to be the most conservative cussers -- 46 percent never use foul language around co-workers. About 10 percent fewer Brits and Canadians agreed (33 percent and 32 percent, respectively). More Americans (18 percent) also said they do not alter their language and if a course word comes out, they are not bothered by it. Fifteen percent of both Canadians and Brits said the same. More British respondents find themselves altering the way they speak in order to avoid a swear word slipping out, though (37 percent), while 35 percent of Americans and 34 percent of Canadians bite their tongues to avoid cursing.
A whopping 70 percent of all American, British and Canadian respondents said it is always inappropriate for doctors, lawyers, politicians and police officers to swear, regardless of if anyone can hear them, and between 60 and 67 percent feel athletes should not use foul language.
The survey was conducted from July 20 to July 23 and polled 1,012 randomly selected Canadian adults, 1,013 randomly selected American adults, and 1,992 randomly selected British adults.
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