Idaho Swears, Is Discourteous—Maybe


Idaho receives poor scores when it comes to courtesy and foul language. - THE ATLANTIC/MARCHEX
  • The Atlantic/Marchex
  • Idaho receives poor scores when it comes to courtesy and foul language.

Your calls may be monitored for quality control and customer service purposes—or moral judgment. 

In a study released in May by the Marchex Institute and passed along by The Atlantic, Idahoans are among America's most foul-mouthed and discourteous. Topping the list of states which swear the most is Ohio, followed by Maryland, New Jersey and Louisiana. The most discourteous are Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana and Tennessee. 

But those conclusions might be a bit disingenuous. The data used by Marchex came from some 600,000 recorded phone calls between consumers and businesses. Researchers combed the calls for pleases and thank-yous, F-bombs, h-e-double-hockey sticks, bodily fluids and functions, and racial slurs. Then they geotagged the calls, pinpointed the consumer's state of origin and put a hash in either the naughty or nice category. 

That means irate customers spending precious weekend hours haggling over cell phone bills, the IRS and the cable company have had their calls screened. That Marchex's conclusions might reflect the courtesy and swear-iest individual states at their surliest, Boise Weekly is officially calling bull$%&t on the claim that what Idahoans say to customer service representatives is indicative of our general character. If anything, it means we're more willing to bitch about bad service... or we have too much time on our hands.