Right before the winter break, I’ve settled on a topic to research.
My advisor and I already had gone through a handful of potential topics including perceptions on various English accents and euphemism of tabooed words. Among the topics, I found that recently-formed Korean slang was rarely studied. It ranked second on my interest level next to the euphemism one. The latter topic required more of socio-linguistic knowledge and an professor who can mentor me in that field. Both were non-existent. So there it was: the topic of my first research project in linguistics–formation of contemporary Korean slang.
The plan was collecting data over the winter break. It would be better if it’s organized in a spreadsheet and transcribed with IPA. We would see how far it gets.
Then it happened in Brooke’s office during my final visit to her to wrap up the semester. She is my friend and mentor in the department. Bad Language. The title of the book caught my eyes, and I inquired about it immediately. “You can borrow it,” she said. “Really?” I said, “I’m just about to research bad language.” I flipped through it and decided to take it with me to read over the break. ‘Ha! ha! There ARE linguists who study bad language!’ I felt like I just found a comrade. ‘I will follow your track, Andersson and Trudgill. I will take advantage of your sharing of knowledge in this matter and take it further, in Korean.’ The book couldn’t have shown up at any better moment!