Cursing in Spanish in Twitter (Jurando en español en Twitter)
Jurando en español en Twitter
Cursing in Spanish in Twitter
• This back-of-the-envelope analysis of Spanishwritten tweets is shamefully inspired by the
work by Wang et al. (2014) which you should
• Spaniards are worldwide known by their
custom to curse and use profanity as part of
their common routine [Citation needed].
• In fact, they  proudly state that Spanish
lexicon is rich in profanities [Citation needed].
• In contrast, English speakers must resort to
using the f-word and the s-word most of the
time [Citation needed].
• Nevertheless, there is little empirical evidence to
support previous statements.
• Therefore, we  have analyzed  a relatively
large corpus of tweets  written in Spanish .
• To perform such analysis a list of common
profanities in Spanish was prepared (see
• Using such a lexicon insulting/offensive tweets
were counted and frequencies for each profanity
• 1.62% of the tweets in the dataset contained
at least one profanity from the lexicon.
– This contrasts with 7.73% reported by Wang et al.
(2014) for English tweets.
• The 20 most frequent profanities amount for
80% of profanity occurrences.
– This contrasts with 90.40% reported by Wang et
al. (2014) for top-7 curse words.
Adjectives in Spanish admit gender and number.
Therefore some conflation was performed to cluster
semantically related words (e.g. estúpido, estúpida, estúpidos
and estúpidas conflate to estúpid*, in English all those words
would translate to stupid).
• It could seem that Spaniards curse lot less than the rest of the
world (and even themselves  believe).
• However, we must remember than Twitter is not a representative
sample of the population as a whole (Gayo-Avello, toooo many
• Therefore, we cannot discard the hypothesis that tweeting
Spaniards have a socio-demographical background that make them
to curse less than non tweeting Spaniards.
• An inattentive reader could attribute this apparent lack of cursing to
the current austerity measures the country is adopting.
However, the dataset was collected in 2009  so such hypothesis
is rather weak.
• Nevertheless, which seems to be pretty obvious is that Spanish
speakers have much more profanities to choose from
(or, conversely, English speakers are unimaginative when cursing…)
• Other official languages of Spain could be
• Other languages of the EU could be studied.
• Other languages of the world could be
• Possibilities are endless!
• The author wish to thank the guy he follows
on Twitter that tweeted about the research by
Wang et al. (2014) since, otherwise, he (i.e.
the author) could have missed that paper.
• The author would like to ask Wang et al. to
forgive him since their paper is really nice
(weird, but nice anyway).
• Wenbo Wang, Lu Chen, Krishnaprasad
Thirunarayan and Amit P. Sheth. Cursing in
English on Twitter. In ACM Conference on
Computer Supported Cooperative Work and
Social Computing (CSCW 2014), 2014.
3. Actually, written a script to count some words in
a dataset. No tokenization or stemming were
4. 727,591 tweets since I didn’t have the
inclination to untar the rest of compressed data
in my drive.
6. Ha! Gotcha!