Jack Grieve, a linguist at Aston University in the UK, has created a series of maps breaking down where residents are most likely to use offensive words such as f**k and ‘sh**’.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.dailymail.co.uk
I’m not totally sure what insights you can gain from this in relation to who swears with which words, but it is interesting. It would be useful for an author adding authenticity to conversations in a novel. An anthropologist might find it very interesting to see how the vernacular changes from one part of the country to the other. Obviously ethnicity and religion play a part as do regions of the country where people travel a lot, like the great cities and tourist regions.
It’s interesting that Twitter was used for this, and of course it is an easy tool from the perspective of picking up regional use of a word as opposed to a phrase given the limited number of characters available in a tweet. You’re less likely to find large numbers of people tweeting phrases like “to be honest’.
I’d be interested in exploring the origins of new words, sayings, acronyms and whether the same concepts can be used in Twitter for following the origins and trends of new words like YOLO.
Things move very quickly in Twitter and location plays an interesting part. For example, yesterday evening there was a 5.8 earthquake close to the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand near a place called Pongaroa. Most of the people I spoke to didn’t know where that was or though of a suburb of Auckland. They know where it is now.
It only took about 5 seconds after I received notification from an earthquake application I used for work purposes before the tweets started flowing and continue as you can see on this link https://twitter.com/search?q=eqnz&src=typd. A quick look on Trendsmap http://trendsmap.com/ and you can see that it continues to trend this morning.
The big take out from the maps about offensive language is that if you ask the right questions and look in the right places, a lot of information is suddenly available to you. If you are in a business where location is important, it can be extremely valuable and interesting. For me, my first thoughts were about road conditions and whether there was any danger for motorists, fortunately the answer was an all clear.
Hopefully this little story will encourage you to consider looking for information based on location at some stage and I would love some feedback.