The Parents Television Council—the conservative busybodies who like to complain about all the good stuff on TV—has done a study of television curse words. Finally, we can know for sure which are the most popular swears!
The PTC, which is concerned about the use of naughty language on TV in the wake of a federal court ruling that the FCC has no authority to maintain an "indecency policy," watched the first two weeks of the fall television season on the five major networks and tallied up the curses they heard. What a weird way to spend your time! But so valuable for our ongoing quest to figure out what swears are popular.
Here's the data, arranged by hour of television:
Click to enlarge
So, "BLEEPED FUCK" is both the number-one curse, and the biggest gainer. Not surprising! "Fuck" is a great swear, and the truth is, bleeping it out really hammers home how awesome it is. I'm bothered by the second-most used swear word, though: "Hell." Come on, television! Great not-quite-curse words like "piss," "screw" and "balls" are languishing near the bottom, and you keep coming back to "hell"? Worse, great old-fashioned curses like "bastard" and "damn" are actually being used less often now than in 2010, which is a damn shame.
That being said, I'm glad to see that "douche" still hasn't caught on, even on TV.