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Swearing makes you impotent: official

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Those readers who like the spoken language liberally peppered with expletives and barrack-room terminology had better clean up their act, a Russian scientist has warned, because excessive swearing causes women to turn into blokes and blokes to lose wood.

The shocking revelation comes courtesy of Gennady Cheurin's team at the Yekaterinburg Centre for Ecological Safety and Survival. Cheurin made the discovery after conducting ground-breaking research into the effect of bad language on water. The theory goes that water can be influenced by "negative vibes", and the team spent several hours hurling abuse at a glass of the stuff. This Devil's liquid was then sprinkled on wheat seeds - of which just 48 per cent subsequently germinated. Seeds favoured with water from natural springs, on the other hand, enjoyed a 93 per cent germination rate.

We suspect that Cheurin is heavily influenced in his work by the University of Queensland investigation into ovine lesbianism and the Cambridge team who proved conclusively that sheep like happy, smiley people, because he quickly turned his attentions to the effect of swearing on the perpetrators themselves: "We then looked at heavy swearers, and found whenever men use these words in their daily life, this immediately leads to sexual dysfunctions, i.e. impotence. If a woman uses these words in her daily speech, she slowly begins transforming into a man, getting more hair and muscles."

What Cheurin does not record is whether his own team succumbed to these terrifying effects. Presumably, extended periods of telling a tumbler of water to "f**k off" would have left his female colleagues looking like gender-uncertain shot-putters and his male counterparts softer than a blancmange-filled condom. ®

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