GENDERED TALK: TABOO LANGUAGE IN INTERNET
RELAY CHAT Cover Image

GENDERED TALK: TABOO LANGUAGE IN INTERNET RELAY CHAT
GENDERED TALK: TABOO LANGUAGE IN INTERNET RELAY CHAT

Author(s): Markéta Johnová
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, Theory of Communication
Published by: Masarykova univerzita
Keywords: swear words; taboo language; women’s language; men’s language; Internet Relay Chat (IRC); gender; community of practice; context;

Summary/Abstract: One of the well-established sociolinguistic stereotypes is the concept of woman as a gentle and delicate creature whose language tallies with this notion. Women are brought up to mind their manners and be in command of their choice of vocabulary markedly more than men. Recent studies indicate that the correlation between gender and taboo language is context-dependent. Research shows that both men and women use more crude expressions in the same-sex conversation and that the usage of swear words decreases in mixed-sex conversations. In narratives, however, women tend to increase the use of taboo language in order to accommodate to the male norm, in contrast with men who tend to use fewer profanities. The paper wishes to present partial results of an ongoing survey into computer-mediated communication (CMC). As the most anonymous and fleeting CMC environment, chat accentuates the virtues and vices of the cyberspace communication – it lessens the pressure of social expectations and gives the impression of impunity. The present study adopts the community of practice framework and examines how this specifi c context influences the use of taboo language in IRC (Internet Relay Chat) in terms of gender differences.

  • Issue Year: 4/2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 23-34
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English