Vancouver – Compared to two years ago, fewer adults in Canada say they are having conversations with people who swear, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample, 64% of Canadians say they hear their friends swear “frequently” or “occasionally” when they are engaged in conversation, down four points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in April 2019.
About half of Canadians say they listen to swear words “frequently” or “occasionally” when talking to strangers (50%, -5), relatives (49%, -5) and co-workers (48%, -4).
When asked about their own use of swear words, almost half of Canadians (49%, -3) say they rely on this kind of language “frequently” or “occasionally” when they are conversing with friends.
Fewer Canadians say they swear “frequently” or “occasionally” when chatting with relatives (36%, -4), co-workers (31%, -3) and strangers (17%, -6).
Just over two-in-five residents of British Columbia (41%) say they “never” swear during conversations with relatives. The proportion is lower in Alberta (37%), Ontario (33%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (30%), Quebec (27%) and Atlantic Canada (26%).
Ontario is home to the highest proportion of residents who “never” utter swear words around co-workers (45%), followed by Alberta (44%), British Columbia (41%), Quebec (40%), Atlantic Canada (39%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (38%).
“More than half of Canadians who supported the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Conservative Party in the last federal election (52% and 51% respectively) say they swear frequently or occasionally when chatting with friends,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion drops to 46% among those who voted for the Liberal Party.”
Across the country, more than a third of Canadians (36%, -2) claim to always alter the way they speak to make sure they do not swear in public—including 39% of women.
Practically half of Canadians (49%, +1) acknowledge that they sometimes alter the way they speak so as not to swear in front of certain people—a proportion that reaches 62% among those aged 18-to-34.
Only 14% of Canadians say they never alter the way they speak and do not worry if a curse word comes out—including 18% of Atlantic Canadians, 18% of residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and 17% of Canadians aged 55 and over.