Saturday, January 7, 2012

Marking devotion

As some of you know, a part of my scholarly research deals with the relationship between religious affiliation and devotion on the one hand, and language use on the other. Right now i’m at the annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, and in discussing this topic with other researchers, an interesting couple of questions about ways Mormons mark themselves as devout or not came up, and i didn’t know the answer—so i’m crowdsourcing it.

We all know that devout Mormons don’t drink coffee or tea (as in infusions made from tea leaves). Some Mormons mark themselves as extra devout by abstaining from all caffeine-containing foods, but with chocolate (in both liquid and solid forms) excepted. So, the questions:
  1. Are there any Mormons who mark themselves as hyper-devout by choosing to abstain from chocolate due to its caffeine content?
  2. How do fundamentalist (i.e., polygynous) Mormons mark themselves in terms of abstaining or not abstaining from any of these food and drink items?

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