LINGUIST List 23.3843

Fri Sep 14 2012

Qs: Questionnaire on English Obscene/Offensive Language

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <>

Date: 14-Sep-2012
From: Robert Moncrief <>
Subject: Questionnaire on English Obscene/Offensive Language
E-mail this message to a friend

Are you an English Teacher or Student of English?

Please help me complete my PhD thesis on Obscene/Offensive Language in English by filling out my web survey at:

It's easy, quick and no personal information is required. I'm particularly interested in ''laypeople's'' (i.e. non-linguists) attitudes, so if this does not apply to you, may I kindly ask that you also ask your fellow teachers/students of English to complete it!

Thank you!

My PhD research includes a questionnaire regarding attitudes to the use of swearing and ''bad'' language in English to two control groups: EFL and English Language teachers and students of English which asks about their personal beliefs, attitudes and judgments towards the use and perception of ''demotic'' language including:

1. How participants monitor the personal, situational, functional, external and social aspects of the use of the swearing on an individual level.

2. How does the use of such language reflect the establishment of linguistic, cultural and social norms in the minds of respondents and if so, how are these norms reflected?

3. Can specific changes in the use or perception of swearing be tracked and categorized? Which parameters correlate? (e.g. teachers vs. students. youth vs. aged, native English speakers vs. non-natives)

4. Do language teachers pass on the personal, cultural, societal norms or ''baggage'' regarding the use of ''non-standard'' English to students?

5. Can the phenomenon of swearing and ''bad'' language be conceptualized? Can reactions to the socio-cultural environment be monitored and wider conclusions be drawn?

My study is qualitative and is based on cluster analysis and profiling. Access to prototypical cases will allow further analysis and more complete understanding of attitudes towards the use of demotic language and related attitudes reflected in common beliefs, value judgments and the teaching and learning of ''bad'' language.

For questions or comments, please reply to

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Page Updated: 14-Sep-2012