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The Use of the Bleep Word on TV Increases 2500 Percent in Five Years

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | November 10, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | November 10, 2010 |

The Parents Television Council (PTC), which apparently has nothing better to do than to sit around and count profanities, has conducted a study on television swear words. The PTC has come to the surprising conclusion that, over the last five years, profanity has increased on TV.


Yes. It’s true. People use more swear words — profanity overall has increased by 70 percent since 2005. What does this mean? I dunno. Children are exposed to more forms of language? Until the PTC does another study correlating the increase of profanity with a decrease in overall intelligence or brain development, I’m not really inclined to care. I’m not going to be exposing my child to “Deadwood” just yet (oh, but I will someday), but by stigmatizing certain words, you’re just given kids more reason to use them. Isn’t that why people watch “Shit My Dad Says,” because they think the word is naughty? It sure as fuck can’t be because it’s a good show.

Here’s a chart demonstrating the rise in swear-word popularity by time slot on network television, and below that, some statistics from the PTC.


  • Across all networks, use of profanity on prime-time broadcast entertainment programming increased 69.3% from 2005 to 2010.

  • Use of the bleeped or muted f-words increased from 11 instances total in 2005 to 276 instances in 2010 - an increase of 2409%.

  • Use of the bleeped or muted s-word increased from 11 instances in 2005 to 95 instances in 2010 - an increase of 763%.

  • During the family hour, instances of the f-word increased from 10 in 2005 to 111 in 2010. Use of the s-word during the family hour increased from 11 instances in 2005 to 42 in 2010.

  • The Fox broadcast network showed the greatest per hour increase in use of profanity from 2005 to 2010 with a 269% increase across all prime-time hours.

    (Via Gawker)

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    Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.