If Santa Claus wanted an easy way to separate the nice from the naughty for his list, all he’d have to do is look at the numbers culled from recorded phone calls. And no, not the sneaky tracking you’re thinking of — when you call a customer service line or your credit card company and hear that “this call may be recorded” notification, there’s data to show if you drop an f-bomb (or two or three or four) during that call. And Ohio has the sassiest mouths in the nation.
The Atlantic looked at data culled by Marchex Institute, which pulled the numbers from phone calls consumers make and specifically looked at how often people are cursing.
Spread across 600,000 phone calls in the last year from consumers to businesses in 30 different industries nationwide, Marchex used mining technology to pick out the curses in those conversations and tag them with the caller’s state.
Ohioans are in need of a shipment of soap to clean out everyone’s mouths: That state had callers swearing in one of about every 150 phone conversations. No word on how many of those centered on Michigan football.
Next up on the naughty list were Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Illinois.
The angels among us (at least so far as cursing is concerned) live in Washington, where callers only dropped f-bombs and other swears in one out of every 300 conversations.
It’s not only that Ohio residents swore at twice the rate of Washington folk — it turns out the Midwest isn’t all cheese casseroles and help your neighbor niceness — Ohio is also the least courteous state, according to Marchex, followed by its heartland sibling Wisconsin, then Massachusetts, Indiana, and Tennessee.
Most likely to drop a “please” here and a “thank you” there during a customer call was South Carolina, with polite runners-up North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana, and Georgia.
The data also showed that more cursing occurred when phone calls were more than 10 minutes long, which makes sense because if you can’t get something solved or resolved during that time, the tongue is gonna get loose.