The “analysis” considers:
- Happiness, as measured in the ratio to smiley faces to frowny faces
- Love vs. hate, with a spiffy Venn diagram of the objects of the aforementioned emotions
- Sex: to what extent are ostensibly “sexual” words used in a sexual way?
- Anatomy: a comparison of the frequency with which male vs. female body parts are drawn and/or referenced
- Temporal fluctuations in love, despair, and sex graffiti
For my pedantic readers (including my beloved husband), or anyone else who missed the “pseudo-” part of the “pseudo-scientific analysis”, let me note that the sample size for any of this is too small to make any actual conclusions. Furthermore:
- Smiley faces and frowny faces basically function as punctuation, and their scope is almost always limited to the statement(s) they accompany. I know they’re not an indicator of general happiness or unhappiness. But I couldn’t resist the idea of a smiley-to-frowny-face ratio.
- Yes, it’s possible that people just write more love graffiti than hate graffiti, and the difference in graffiti frequency isn’t reflective of people’s private emotions. Please get over it.
- I’d actually like to look into the frequency of non-sexual uses of the “sexual” terms mentioned in the post, across a larger corpus of English. Maybe there’s nothing special about the graffiti data.
- There’s a graph depicting a vagina in the B-level men’s room, but I consider the B-level men’s room graffiti to be almost a different data set, and I didn’t include other material from bathrooms.
- Including the graffiti from the carrels might change the conclusions about the temporal fluctuations of love, despair, and sex. But I really have no way to date those (I’ve gone to the carrels 3-4 times in 2 years) so… tough cookies.