It's the time of year when most folks are on their best behavior. After all, Santa Claus is coming to town and he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!
That includes, as every mother's child knows (pardon my mixing of Christmas carols), not using foul language.
Some folks, however, can't resist talking a blue streak when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service.
It's not just the random cursing we hear each filing season as folks struggle to fill out their annual tax forms. Salty language pops up whenever the IRS asks the public for comments on its proposed regulations.
Regulations.gov collects the public assessments of not just IRS proposals, but of all federal agencies' pending rule changes and documents.
The Washington Post blog The Fix took a look at that site and what people have to say to Uncle Sam and discovered that the IRS is the government agency that gets sworn at the most.
You're not surprised, are you?
The Fix folks explained their process:
There were two words that we focused on in our analysis, one of which starts with an F and one of which starts with an S. Other words didn't come up as often, or were also commonly used nicknames for men named Richard, or what have you. So we focused on F and S.
And here's what they found:
Graphic by the Washington Post using Regulations.gov data.
Click for a larger image view. Full graphic at The Fix.
In providing examples of the public comments, The Fix replaced the F and S words with FUDGE and SHOOT. "Not because we're prudes," says column writer Philip Bump, "but because that is funnier."
See for yourself:
Many of the comments targeting the IRS were elegant in their simplicity:
"FUDGE THOSE THUGS" or "YOU SUCK, FUDGE THE IRS" or "FUDGE OBAMA" (popular in many iterations) or "WHAT THE FUDGE IS THIS? FUDGE THIS SHOOT." Others, responding to the IRS's proposal to change its rules around nonprofits, were more complex: "time to quit your lies boys and tell the truth right to be a slave is right to work FUDGE the corporations let them eat SHOOT and FUDGing die along with the chamber of communist and other anti worker pos."
The IRS. Gotta love 'em!
Sure, those outbursts felt good when the irked taxpaying populace wrote them.
But that's just the kind of talk that not only will get your mouth washed out with soap, but also will firmly place you on Santa's naughty list.
You also might find these items of interest: