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'She's a F**king ticket': the pragmatics of f**k in Irish English - an age and gender perspective

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    Rights statement: © Murphy, B. (2009). 'She's a F**king ticket': the pragmatics of f**k in Irish English - an age and gender perspective. Corpora, 4(1), 85-106. 10.3366/E1749503209000239

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-106
Number of pages22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


In this paper, I examine the pragmatics of FUCK in terms of age and gender in
an Irish English context. The paper aims to explore sociolinguistic variation
in the use of this taboo form by using quantitative and qualitative corpusbased
tools and methodologies, which include relative frequency lists and
concordances, as well as details of formulaic strings, including significant
clusters. I show that FUCK is a high-frequency item in everyday talk. I
illustrate that, in terms of age and gender, FUCK occurs most frequently
among male speakers in their twenties. I also focus on fucking as an
extremely emotionally charged form that is a high frequency item in the
interactions of both the males in their twenties and the males in their
forties. I note that the use of this form brings a certain dramatic intensity
or dynamism to their discourse. I attribute this intensity to being a feature of
how males interact. I conclude by discussing other variables at play in the

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