Framing a Picture: The Language of Imgur.com
A research thesis paper is a requirement for seniors seeking a BA in Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University. My thesis focused on the internet comment language and how it relates to linguistic framing. It was written in my undergraduate senior year (spring 2012). It was also my first forray into academic research and writing, so I wouldn't call it scholarly (it certainly was never published). But it was an interesting project which I enjoyed and which also garnered attention from Imgur.com staff members, so I thought I would keep it around.
I did not have the foresight to keep any other assignments of note from undergrad, but I did typical linguistics assignments such as phonetics, IPA, syntax, and research about how people speak.
Imgur.com is an image hosting website where users may leave comments describing or remarking on the image. The language of these comments often shows interesting elements of youthful language, Internet language, and intriguing stylistic choices in framing, vocabulary, and playfulness in language. Comments may be “upvoted” or “downvoted” by users which leaves the comments in order, ranked by popularity. This senior thesis for a BA in Linguistics seeks to discover what language makes a top-ranked comment on Imgur.com.
NB: Unfortunately, Imgur.com has since updated its general framework, so the parts of my paper regarding framework and logistics are outdated.