Hell, Yes There's More Cursing on TV: Report

Guess which word is used the most

By Mac Montandon
|  Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010  |  Updated 7:37 PM CDT
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Critics who say our culture is coarsening now have some science to back up their claims.

The Parents Television Council -- who you might remember from a recent dustup with "GQ" over racy photos of "Glee" cast members -- spent many, many hours (128 to be exact) watching  prime time network television this fall and comparing the use of expletives to what made it on the air over the same period of time in 2005. The PTC then issued their findings in a report its calling "A Habitat for Profanity." Cute, no?

In total, profanity is up 69.3 percent on TV over the last five years. The word that saw the greatest increase between 2005 and this year was bleeped instances of "f---," which went from 11 to 276, for a 2,409 percent leap.

"Bastard" and "damn," meanwhile, accounted for the largest declines, going from 27 to 17 and 149 to 141, respectively.

And the least used expletive on television? That honor goes to "douche," which found its way to the small screen only three times in 2005 and another three in 2010.

That last figure would surely have been different if the PTC had included cable comedy shows in its calculations. 

Selected Reading: NPR, PTC, EW.com.

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