Parts of Speech: Curse Words

The most common part of speech for curses are nouns. Nouns are one of the largest encompassing part of speech i.e. word class because there are always things that need to be named. Therefore, a lot of the curses such as the most common ones 'fuck,' 'ass,' and 'shit' started off as nouns. Typically the following order after nouns are verbs and adjectives respectively. However, our data shows that adjectives seem to be more encompassing than verbs. Therefore, curse words might not follow the general trend that we expected and curse words might be most commonly used as nouns and adjectives.

This result could be one of the reasons the use of curse words in Tarantino films are so highly regarded. The pattern in these movies are nearly identical to real life yet they differ when it comes to adjectives and verbs. This slight change can make the use of these words more surprising and engaging, becoming more noticeable than other films. In this way, Tarantino's scripts show a divide between the film's world and the real world and other film worlds.

Gendered Profanities

Based on the data we gathered from the three screenplays, we found that some profanities were used more often by male characters such as slurs. While the data does support our hypothesis that male characters use more profanities than female characters, another added dimension to this analysis is that male characters also use more profanities in a single dialogue than female characters in a single dialogue. These differences between male characters and female characters show that there is a gendered usage of profanities. Therefore, there are patterns within each screenplay that help characterize specific characters as more 'male' or more 'female.' Another reason that could explain why female characters use less profanity because usage of profanity is commonly deemed unfeminine.

Further Research

Further research could delve into the parts of speech differences for each curse word based on gender. Based on the gender of the character, do the parts of speech of the individual curse words change as well?

Other forms of further research could be analyzing other films. Analyzing films, such as Reservoir Dogs would allow us to have a base to compare this film to ones that have been nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Academy Awards. Another film to analyze would be Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and or Kill Bill: Vol. 2. With these two, they have both not been nominated for Bets Original Screenplay but has a lead female role. It would be interesting to see if the use of curses and slurs between men and women changes because of this.

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