As a native Buckeye who’s lived in Washington for eight years, this was my first reaction to the data analysis released today by our Marchex Institute, which found that people in Ohio curse the most in the country. Washingtonians, by contrast, curse the least. (WTF?)
The data also placed Ohioans in the Top 5 “Least Courteous” category. Apparently, residents there have a harder time saying “please” and “thank you,” which were the keywords that Marchex’s Call Mining technology scanned for when aggregating data on pleasantries.
It’s fascinating stuff. And it coincides with National Etiquette Week, a seven-day ‘gentle reminder,’ if you will, to be civil and courteous to one another.
The Institute, Marchex’s data and research team, examined more than 600,000 phone calls from the past 12 months. The calls were placed by consumers to businesses across 30 industries, including cable and satellite companies, auto dealerships, pest control centers and more.
The Institute scanned for curse words from A to F to S. Analysts then linked the frequency of those words with all 50 states.
Following Washington in the “Goody Two Shoes” category – states where people are least likely to curse – were Massachusetts (2nd place), Arizona (3rd place), Texas (4th place), Virginia (5th place).
Ranking behind Ohio in the “Sailors” category – states where people are most likely to curse – were: Maryland (2nd place), New Jersey (3rd place), Louisiana (4th place), Illinois (5th place).
Ohioans curse more than twice the rate of Washingtonians, according to the data. Washingtonians curse about every 300 conversations. Ohioans, on the other hand, swore about every 150 conversations.
The data also found that:
- 66% of curses come from men
- The calls that contain the most cursing are more than 10 minutes long. So the longer someone is on the phone, the more likely that call is to devolve.
- Calls in the morning are twice as likely to produce cursing as calls in the afternoon or evening.
The Institute also aggregated state-by-state data on who says “please” and “thank you” the most. The Top 5 “Most Courteous” states were: South Carolina (1st place), North Carolina (2nd place), Maryland (3rd place), Louisiana (4th place), and Georgia (5th place).
(Anyone else sense a Southern hospitality theme here?)
Washington didn’t make the Top 5 for Most Courteous, but it did rank in the top third of the country for saying “please” and “thank you.”
The Top 5 “Least Courteous” states were: Wisconsin (1st place), Massachusetts (2nd place), Indiana (3rd place), Tennessee (4th place), and Ohio (5th place).
This, I suppose, bears repeating: Ohio was the only state to find itself in the “Sailor” and “Least Courteous” categories.
“Ohio’s state slogan used to be ‘The Heart of it All,’” said John Busby, Senior Vice President of the Marchex Institute. “One could argue this data adds an extra layer of meaning to that phrase.”
You could also argue Ohioans are simply transparent, passionate people. Maybe we do curse a little more and maybe we don’t mind our Ps and Qs as much as we should. So what? At least you know how we feel.
So Washington, take your “Least Likely to Curse” title and allow me to remind you of two chilling words: Seattle Freeze.