CorpusMOOC week 8

And so ends CorpusMOOC 2016. Week 8’s lecture content focused on ‘bad language’: swears, insults, and other sorts of uncouth language. The build-up to week 8 didn’t quite match the actual event imo, but in a good way. It seemed to me that ‘bad language’ week was in-a-way marketed as a wild, fun, here-we-go kind of thing.

And it was fun! But not in a wild way. It was actually quite a sober analysis of the use of ‘bad language’, looked at from a variety of angles and variables such as age, class, and sex. That’s what made it fun: it was really dissecting the language, trying to understand it, contemplating it, and not just reveling in getting to use no-no words.

The practical activities wrapped up the CQPweb tutorials. I haven’t written very much about the practical activities, but that’s because I think they speak for themselves. They are PRACTICAL. If your new to CL, they will undoubtedly be helpful. Even if you’re not new, there’s probably something new, some way of searching a corpus that you didn’t know about before, or that you perhaps underutilize, and these activities are a good refresher.

I believe this course is a confidence builder, more than anything else. You come away thinking that even if I can’t do too sophisticated corpus work yet, I know my way around and how to begin doing meaningful things, and I know some of the range of work that can be done with corpora.




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