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Only 39% Curse At Their Computers? 286

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-make-up-for-them dept.
netbuzz writes "That's what we are to believe based upon a survey of 14,284 individuals conducted by security vendor Avira. That survey found that 39 percent of respondents 'cursed or yelled at the computer out loud.' And no computer is needed to calculate the implication: 61% of those participating in the poll believe themselves to have never once uttered a profanity or raised their voice in the direction of a malfunctioning machine. Are the majority of us genuinely possessed of such remarkable self-control? Or might some of these self-reported stoics be exercising a bit of selective memory?"
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Only 39% Curse At Their Computers?

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  • by causality (777677) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:49PM (#35141778)

    61% of those participating in the poll believe themselves to have never once uttered a profanity or raised their voice in the direction of a malfunctioning machine. Are the majority of us genuinely possessed of such remarkable self-control? Or might some of these self-reported stoics be exercising a bit of selective memory?

    I have an alternate theory: maybe they're just a bunch of liars, answering with "what they think would sound better" instead of answering with the truth since the issue itself is unimportant. Little white lies, if you will.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:53PM (#35141836)

      Or maybe some people know the computer wont be fixed by yelling at it. A kick is usually more effective.

      • by Suki I (1546431) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @03:14PM (#35142216) Homepage Journal

        Or maybe some people know the computer wont be fixed by yelling at it. A kick is usually more effective.

        I never compute within reach of a loaded shotgun just for that reason.

      • by cp.tar (871488)

        Or maybe some people know the computer wont be fixed by yelling at it. A kick is usually more effective.

        I usually explain the difference between hardware and software thus: if you can kick it or smash it, it’s hardware; if you can only scream and curse it, it’s software.

        Anyhow, I curse at the computer. Well, more specifically, I tend to curse at Flash, which is an evil, slow monstrosity. It is the gelatinous cube of software; it’s slow and it sucks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have an alternate theory: maybe they're just a bunch of liars, answering with "what they think would sound better" instead of answering with the truth since the issue itself is unimportant. Little white lies, if you will.

      I fucking agree. Although some of us never swear at the fucking computer and are telling the truth, goddammit. Some of this shit that does happen to this box is caused by some asshole who's coding like some dipshit.

      But, I have a lot of fucking control and never swear - well, the occasional "damn!" *looks around* Good! No one heard me!

      • does this count at "I'm not swearing *at* the computer, I'm swearing near it"?
    • by nzac (1822298)

      I have an alternate theory: maybe they're just a bunch of liars, answering with "what they think would sound better" instead of answering with the truth since the issue itself is unimportant. Little white lies, if you will.

      Half of all research that gets an article published in the news (my local news anyway) has the same problem but its valid science for consumers. Slashdot polls are probably just as accurate as research like this.

    • by bkaul01 (619795)
      Or perhaps TFM misinterpreted the survey question: did they actually ask if people have ever, even once, cursed at their computers, or did they ask something vague like "Do you curse at your computer?" that people could just as easily interpret to mean, "Do you (regularly/as a habit) curse at your computer?" ... TFM doesn't report the wording of the actual question.
    • I wonder if people have a different definition of what it means to curse at a computer. Personally, I don't often swear at my computer per se, but I do direct my curses to stupid websites, Flash, broken packages, etc. I think I'd only consider it swearing at my computer proper if I have an issue with the hardware (though I might consider cursing at bootloaders or drivers to be cursing "at my computer").
    • by Stregano (1285764)
      Either that or they interviewed the wrong people. Any programmer has cussed at their computer before (the ones that say they haven't either stay strictly with HTML/CSS or are lying). Some days if my pc and/or code does not do what I want, I will go so far as to make threats against my computer. I have a big, bulky case, and yes, I have also punch my case (I have an old legacy Alienware chassis before they became Dellienware). I have threatened to take the heatsink out of my pc and watch my cpu burn into
    • by jc42 (318812)

      I have an alternate theory: maybe they're just a bunch of liars, answering with "what they think would sound better" instead of answering with the truth ...

      And I have a third theory: A lot of us curse at things our computer does, but the target of our cursing is the gang of malevolent idiots who built the software.

      We're quite aware that the computer is just a dumb machine, and is no more responsible or its behavior than, say, a mosquito is when it bites you. But in the case of the computer, we understand why the computer did whatever stupid thing it did. It was programmed that way by people who wanted it to behave that way.

      So we may curse a lot in the

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:50PM (#35141798)

    The rest administer severe spankings.

    • by hodet (620484)
      This lady I work with calls me to fix her family computer every once in a while. Her kids manage to kill it at least once a year. Last time I picked up the box it would not even boot up. There was a dent on the silver power button (its a Dell Dimension). I'm thinking the kid punched it or hit it with something. Mom had no idea what was wrong, kid had an innocent look. Gave me a chuckle.
    • I will sometimes couple my 'motivational speech' with encouraging gestures, such as the Flying Double-Eagle Salute, in which I extend the middle digit of both hands and bump them against each other, emulating coupling eagles soaring in a majestic display before the screen.
    • No, they cower in paralytic fear when something goes wrong, or else call for help. The idea of the computer somehow defying or frustrating them is an alien a concept to someone who regards the machine as some kind of supreme authority on the task at hand.

  • by FyRE666 (263011) * on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:50PM (#35141800) Homepage

    What the fuck does that mean?

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      What the fuck does that mean?

      Still less scary than "printer on fire". The first time I saw that one was a big WTF moment.

  • 1st post (Score:3, Funny)

    by rwise2112 (648849) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:51PM (#35141810)
    I would have had 1st post, but f*#$%$%^^ing computer stopped me
  • That depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anom (809433) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:52PM (#35141818)

    I don't really curse at my computer per se, but I certainly curse those responsible for building/developing crappy hardware/software. I have probably never said "Dang you computer", but as for "Dang you Microsoft!", well...

    • The most recent curses I uttered were at Microsoft for disabling the ability to change the background in Windows 7 Starter. It's just f*ing ludicrous that they took away that option.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't really curse at my computer per se, but I certainly curse those responsible for building/developing crappy hardware/software. I have probably never said "Dang you computer", but as for "Dang you Microsoft!", well...

      That's funny. Every time I try to get Linux to work on my hardware, something doesn't work right. So I always find myself cursing the freetards responsible for that mess. Then all is better when I put windows back on there. Just the act of formatting with NTFS makes me feel better at that point.

      Then a couple of years later, one of you lusers convinces me that all the problems with Linux are fixed. Then the entire process repeats. The community goes out of its way to convince the new luser that it is h

  • I call bullshit, and I mean that literally. As I read the headline, I said "bullshit". It may have confused those around me, but they're used to that by now...
  • Which computer? (Score:2, Informative)

    by bennomatic (691188)
    I rarely have to curse at my Mac, but my Windows machine locks up regularly for minutes at a time, during which I sound like a freakin' truck driver.
  • If I'm alone, I'm quiet because what would be the point? The computer's not listening. I'll only swear if I have an audience and something really fucking catastrophic happens to the system.

    As in, "oh SHIT the /home partition is unmountable."

  • I'm surprised that 61% of people claim to have never cursed aloud at their computer.

    Heck, I want to know what percentage of people have merely spoken aloud to it. I'm betting it's pretty much all of 'em.

    • I never yelled, cursed or even spoken to my computer. I don't tend to speak to inanimate objects.

      • I never yelled, cursed or even spoken to my computer. I don't tend to speak to inanimate objects.

        And, yet, you post on /. Hmm...

  • Self-Control (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whois_drek (829212) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:54PM (#35141856)

    Are the majority of us genuinely possessed of such remarkable self-control? Or might some of these self-reported stoics be exercising a bit of selective memory?

    Just because the submitter has a temper and a foul mouth doesn't mean everyone does...

    • Re:Self-Control (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @04:01PM (#35142840)

      As Mark Twain pointed out in his autobiography, everybody swears, it's just a matter of whether they use the conventional curse words or not. An old lady saying "oh dear" in a particular way is definitely swearing, it's just covered up with a different choice of words.

  • by hesaigo999ca (786966) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:55PM (#35141880) Homepage Journal

    Could we have better more compelling stories being posted please, other then my dog ate my homework, so I had to find a story quick to meet my boss's column deadline.

    • No doubt. We should get our money back and launch a class action suit followed by an awareness effort second only to Tibet.

      Wait, no. Let's just STFU and ignore the post instead.

  • .....a fucking Statistic!
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:55PM (#35141890)

    How many hate it in our hearts?

  • The ignorant wretched masses, who were 39% of the survey sample, cursed their computer. The rest, the tech savvy 61%, cursed Microsoft.
  • And I kept my composure by myself.

    When others came by, yeah, I just had to complain though.

  • 37% of reported statistics are obviously fake, the other 73% manage to get by without the audience noticing.

    Also, in an unrelated story, a remarkably large number of people say they have never practiced the percussive school of maintenance.

    • by Xtifr (1323)

      37% of reported statistics are obviously fake, the other 73% manage to get by without the audience noticing.

      And collectively, they gave 110%, something that only sports teams had previously managed! :)

  • because the co-workers get uncomfortable when I call the freakin' thing what it reall is.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @02:59PM (#35141966)

    When I was younger, I used to swear and curse and destroy keyboards when I faced something frustrating. Not so much when I coded, because if something goes wrong with your code, more often than not it's your fault and you can correct it. No, the real frustration comes when trying to work with Windows, or some other piece of software with idiosyncrasies that drive you up the wall.

    Nowaways, I don't swear or bang keyboards anymore. Instead, I just sit in front of the screen, and I let this feeling that I'm probably gonna be there, wasting my life away for hours once more, sink in my stomach.

    I mean, reinstalling Windows or restoring your backups because the stupid hard drive crashed, or configuring a stubborn driver, or trying to share a stupid printer from Win 7 to XP, ... it's just like an itch you can't scratch isn't it? You just gotta do it and you know it's gonna take fucking longer than it should. What's the point of becoming angry on top of that hey...

    In short, now that I'm older, the anger has turned into quiet desperation.

    • by Genrou (600910)

      When I was younger, I used to swear and curse and destroy keyboards when I faced something frustrating.

      Like this? [youtube.com]

    • In short, now that I'm older, the anger has turned into quiet desperation.

      That and ulcers [wikimedia.org] and/or depression (citation [pbs.org]). No job is worth either of those.

  • by sanchom (1681398) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @03:01PM (#35141996)
    Why would one need self control to not curse at a computer? Some people are just quiet. Some people are just not emotive. Some people realize that yelling at a computer is kind of silly. It's not like there's this urge to yell and curse that we have to hold back like a sneeze.
    • This was a worldwide survey [avira.com], so it's not surprising that not everybody is as brash and unselfcontrolled as the stereotypical American.

      Also consider that the Avira's surveys use radio buttons, and that there were other "interesting" responses from which to choose, including various forms of physical violence.

  • I always try to find words of encouragement. Also, since have my previous laptop in the room, I tell the new one how much better it is than the old one when it does something right. You're so perfect I love you, and so sexy looking, unlike those desktop whales. ... what, I wasn't staring at that tablet!

  • If there's one thing that coding / fixing / troubleshooting / installing etc has taught me it's patience. No swearing and cursing here, just get the job done and it takes as long as it takes.
    Getting riled up isn't conducive to logical thought (at least for me). Do the job, keep calm, move on. YMMV
  • I used to curse at my Win98 machine every other night (I still prefer to shutdown desktops nightly at home) as I observed it's inability to shutdown the O/S. It always froze during shutdown and I never found a solution for it. How hard is it to quiesce the disks and shutdown ? Fast-forward to today and I've got a Dell laptop with Vista running, and it gets 'sleep', 'reboot', 'shutdown' mixed up. So I'm still cursing. The cursing is always about Windows for me. My linux boxes never had a problem.
  • Since installing Ubuntu, my computer certainly looks a lot sexier... Now I curse at it for pleasure - not for pain! Yessss... That's just how daddy like it... Now post my comment you filthy little....
  • Fucking piece of shit computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGH

  • I suspect I cuss enough for 3 or 4 "average people", and that's without using Windows...

  • 61% blame themselves, mistakenly believing their magical devices can do no wrong. That thought makes me so proud of our industry.

  • I don't think my neighbors have assumed anyone was being murdered when I yelled at my computer within the last 48 hours... thats still pretty good right?

  • I don't curse at all. So I never curse at my computer. Or, rather, the word I use as a curse is "Bother!". And, strangely enough, I'm not christian, and am largely an atheist.

    I also generally don't get frustrated at my computer. Partly that's because it is running Linux, and I understand it well enough that I know that almost anything that goes wrong can be traced down to a root cause. I do find myself sometimes getting frustrated with my Android cell phone because even though it runs Linux, I do not have t

  • On an extended business trip to Austin, Texas, a colleague told me that someone there actually shot their computer. I didn't buy it, and told him that he was just bullshitting me. Background: My girlfriend tagged along for part of the time. We had an apartment with a swimming pool, and I invited him and his wife over for a swim. My girlfriend got hit by a car as a child, and had to go through multiple operation on her right leg, which left nasty looking scars. She is sometime sensitive about that, and

  • ...I can destroy the #*$%*%& machine in silence just as easy.
  • 39% curse at the computer. 31% curse at the guy who sold them the computer. the rest curse at the nearest techie .
  • I'm not cursing at my computer. I'm writing perl code!

  • That is such a crock of sh*t, I never heard of anything so stupid in my life, I never swear at my computer and I'll be damned if some stupid *sshole is going to prove me other wise

  • Oh iMac, let me stroke your mighty mouse!
  • Only 39% of those surveyed admit to cursing at their computer.
  • ...but I am eagerly waiting for the day when computers finally can feel real pain.

  • My fucking piece of shit computer has become unstable and locks up intermittently. It's been crashing at the most inopportune times, like when I'm in the middle of debugging code. I just spent a shitload of my precious time re-installing everything from scratch and the damn thing still locks up; so, it's the hardware. Piece of shit. I'm about ready to put my foot into the fucking thing. I hate computers but I've been damned to Hell and have to work with them.

    Count me in the 39%.

  • That the 61% nearly matches the earlier story about the percentage of undergraduate cheaters?

    http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/02/08/1527251/619-of-Undergraduates-Cybercheat#comments

    Maybe it's because 61% of any general population are simply liars.

  • As a person who can honestly say that I haven't cursed in over 10 years, I find this survey to be inaccurate. Even I sometimes say non-profane expletives, such as "you STUPID piece of junk!" Knowing that I'm far from the majority, and that I sometimes find it difficult not to lose my temper, I seriously doubt that 61% of computer users, in almost any population group, would never curse at their computer.
  • A few years of maintaining Windows-based networks and you'll be able to put any ocean-hardened sailor to shame.

  • I suspect a lot of people don't curse at their computers because they believe themselves to be completely incompetent with them - whenever something goes wrong, they think it must have been their fault.

    Why curse your own perceived incompetence?

  • If you are not fucking swearing at your god damn, piece of shit computer, you're fucking doing it wrong!

    Asshole!

  • I have never cursed or yelled at any computer out loud. However, I curse and yell out loud at microsoft products when at work.

    Shit, the computer is on or off.... It is that god-dang "screw it our way" software at which I %^&$#*)(*^%~P

  • Cursing at your computer is stupid; it's an inanimate object. I save the nasty stuff for the cats.

  • by jmv (93421) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:14PM (#35145522) Homepage

    I don't swear at the computer. I swear at the idiot who wrote the [OS,application] that just crashed or misbehaved... unless it's me.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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