One of the most fundamental unanswered questions that has been bothering mankind during the Anthropocene is whether the use of swearwords in open source code is positively or negatively correlated with source code quality. To investigate this profound matter we crawled and analysed over 3800 C open source code containing English swearwords and over 7600 C open source code not containing swearwords from GitHub. Subsequently, we quantified the adherence of these two distinct sets of source code to coding standards, which we deploy as a proxy for source code quality via the SoftWipe tool developed in our group. We find that open source code containing swearwords exhibit significantly better code quality than those not containing swearwords under several statistical tests. We hypothesise that the use of swearwords constitutes an indicator of a profound emotional involvement of the programmer with the code and its inherent complexities, thus yielding better code based on a thorough, critical, and dialectic code analysis process.
PDF and discussion found here