A week of swearing
confused data collection
This was the most confusing week ever, I guess just didn’t get what Stefanie meant with the topic!
I originally reported:
1. all the times I talked “in a bad way” about a person (sorry people!)
2. all the times I used a curse word, and I heard somebody around me swearing;
adding details about what the situation was, what the words were and why I used them, and other qualitative notes I found interesting to report.
(sometimes 1 and 2 overlapped, of course, and I would a curse word to buzz about somebody.)
After a week of collecting my data I realized I should just probably draw only the real “swears” and take out the data about gossiping, and focusing only on my bad words.
I don’t know how to swear in English
The grand insight of the week is that I do swear, but I swear almost only when I speak Italian, which is just because I realized that - honestly - I am not sure which curse words to use while complaining or yelling in English. Of course I know and understand a lot of utter expressions, but it is very hard to use them in your second language, I definitely miss the little nuances that differentiate lots of them and I have a hard time understanding in what exact situation to say the most of those words.
Well, I guess it’s not something I necessarily need to learn! :)
When I speak Italian, I figured I swear most of the times to complain.
This week's data are incredibly similar to the ones in my 7th postcards actually, where we tracked and drew our complaints.
This “swearing” card of mine can definitely be seen as a compendium to my 7th one! I would swear while complaining about how cold I am, how slow the service in a certain place is, how much I hate when I can’t solve technological problems on my own, and about specific characteristics about the places we are in.
And I would complain a lot with my boyfriend, of course!
Obviously, since we are polite people, we both asterisked our curse words, even if I guess they’re pretty clear anyway.
I like my postcard, I tried to depict my rude expressions as funny elements, for some reasons I think they are funny!
Look at Stefanie’s card!!!
I know she enjoyed this week a lot, and you can tell it from her card!
I guess in this aspect we’re pretty different, I believe the language you speak shapes your mind in so many ways!
Lately I started to recognize that - somehow - I am a “different” person when I speak Italian than when I speak English, there are aspects of my personality that manifest in dissimilar ways according to the language I am using, because - I think - words are very related to emotional expression, and allow you as a speaker to articulate, conceal, describe and even conceive your feelings.
I would love to know more about it, and this week of Dear Data leaves me eager to research on the topic!
I am a lover of words, and this means I am definitely a lover of swear words. I love the hard cracking sounds a swear word makes in my mouth, and how they have a particular physicality as you say them, shattering the air like a hammer. So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I was incredibly-excited for this week of data-gathering to commence.
This week of swearing wasn’t meant to be performative, but I may have made it more of a performative week because I used this excuse of data-gathering as free reign to swear whenever and wherever I wanted, savouring every time a swear word left my mouth.
And I liked saying words that I really only began to use once I moved to Britain, such as the milder word ‘twat’, or its more offensive cousin ‘c*nt’: these are my favourite words to yell at the television, or yell about politicians while I read my weekend paper.
While these words are some of my favourites, it’s obvious from my postcard that the front runner in my week of swearing is ‘f*ck’ simply because it’s a versatile word that can be used in a myriad of different contexts. Also, I see I mainly swore in front of my husband, and this makes sense, as we obviously have a close relationship where it’s acceptable: while I love to swear, I still follow social convention (don’t worry, Mom!) and rarely swear in a more formal or professional situation unless the people involved are my close friends. Also, the context for my swearing is generally just teasing, friendly banter as opposed to an insult.
But while I love swearing, I am still a little wary of posting my usual swear words online for all to see, particularly my family (hi guys) and particularly Americans, as I know that ‘c*nt’ is definitely considered beyond the pale in my home country. Sorry, everyone, but I will promise I won’t ever to never use that word in front of you, or about you!
Giorgia’s cards are always exciting to receive because she always explores the data-gathering from an angle that I would have never thought of, and she didn’t fail me this week: I really loved how she gathered data on the swear words she heard in the air around her as well as the ones she said herself, which feels quite poetic, even if only on the topic of swearing.
It’s clear that I swear much, much more than Giorgia, and likely use ruder words as well. I hope she doesn’t mind having such a coarse collaborator, though I think we are even since Giorgia was swearing at Americans (though I concede that yeah, we can be pretty annoying sometimes!)