March 19th Blog Post

After spending the latter half of fall semester through to January working on constructing my survey, I began distributing it on February 4th. This process proved very interesting seeing as the first people to take it were professors in the English department. Their results were skewed by the first question being, “List all of the curse words or phrases/profanity you know” followed by “List all of the curse words or phrases/profanity you use.” This first test takers felt that it was too long stopped taking the survey. In reaction, we then shifted these questions to the end as more optional questions. Unfortunately, offensiveness also played a role in these subjects not wanting to continue and was a little disheartening. However, the next day when people in some of my classes took it, I saw results shift and people express interest, (even laughing at some points) which was extremely motivating. After posting it on social media and talking in my classes it only took a few days to hit 100 (usable) surveys. Again, this was motivating that people were as interest in observing profanity as I am. There were some great results that highlighted my expectations and proved some of my preconceptions about the subject matter.

As the results were winded down and I began to shift back to my literature review. I began to gather more academic papers to synthesize and I was lucky to find a paper with a plethora of papers to delve into. I have found more papers regarding pragmatic issues such as politeness and speech act theory. These new sources proved to be at the right time considering that now I can apply these theories to the actual data I have gathered. With the combination of my data and my literature review I hope to begin to structure my presentation more and fill in my desired concepts. I have my key concepts and have those working definitions but the presentation is far from finished.

Through this experience, I have learned more about how to structure future surveys, which is a skill that will be dire in grad school. I also have been able to explore my personal interest in the field I wish to study in through this latest literature. I am excited to continue with this project and apply the concepts to my research and further develop my ideas. This has been an exciting few weeks for the research and now I feel motivated to complete and flesh out my idea. Then hopefully, provide some interesting results on the complexities of profanity for my presentation.

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