Language of Ignorance

  • Aine McAlinden


The purpose of this study was to determine whether commonly-used slang at Boston College is pejorative to women. Research was gathered through the use of an online survey given to thirteen English-speaking Boston College undergraduate students. Other sources were used as well, in order to find the origins and historical context of the most popular slang terms that came up in the data. The survey asked students to list eight offensive slang terms and then use them to answer a series of questions. By giving example sentences, potential environments for usage, and possible positive uses of pejorative terms, participants were able to flesh out their understandings of these terms before then being asked to group their words into the categories "masculine," "feminine," or "neutral." The results of the survey proved that there is an extreme bias against women in everyday slang, and while there are some slang terms that refer mostly to men, these terms are never considered as harmful as those which describe women.


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How to Cite
McAlinden, A. (2018). Language of Ignorance. Lingua Frankly, 4.