The maps below come from the advertising firm Marchex, which analyzed 600,000 calls to customer service departments over one year, counted up some unspecified profanities, and declared Ohio — which plays a big role in choosing our presidents, for fuck's sake — to be the most foul-mouthed state in America. (The maps were first posted to Buzzfeed, then the Atlantic Cities had fun with them.)
The swing state of Ohio not only produced the most swears (one per 150 conversations, which seems like a chickenshit amount), but the fewest instances of "please" and "thank you."
I suspect that there's not much variation among the states, since the regional patterns are not that strong (does Louisiana really swear so much more than Texas?), but those sneaky bastards in the South are generally ranked highly for courteousness.
It's striking that Massachusetts ranks next-to-last in both cursing (only Washington state does it less) and please-thank-yous (only Wisconsinites were colder during their intercourse with call-center employees). This seemed odd to me, since I think of Bay Staters as being both blunt and formal. As in: "Thanks for putting up with my shit" or "Please don't put me on fucking hold again!"
But there's a simple explanation. In its Buzzfeed post, Marchex explains: "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."
Now it makes sense. People in Massachusetts talk fast, walk fast, and get off the goddamned phone as fast as possible. We don't swear or say "thank you" because we don't stay on the line when someone from our bank or cable company yammer on about some exciting new service we can add to our bill. If Marchex counts the number of hang-ups in the middle of a customer service representative's sentence, we'll take first place.