An Analysis of Adjectives Used in Suicide Notes in Terms of Positivity/Negativity/Neutrality
An Analysis of Adjectives Used
in Suicide Notes in Terms of
• Suicide notes are the last words of a person, written before
committing suicide. It is assumed by most people that a
suicide note consists of wholly or mostly negative work and
it is prepared in a negative mood. This study tries its best to
analyze whether this conception is true or false.
• In order to analyze the suicide note, forensic linguistics
needs another linguistic field or fields to support the
analysis, such as phonology, semantics, morphology
pragmatics, syntax, discourse analysis etc. In this study the
fields of semantics and pragmatics are made use of,
because this study analyzes the adjectives semantically and
for some of them pragmatics is needed, because the
adjectives are not always used in their dictionary meaning.
Review of Literature
• Eva T. S. Sudjana and Nurul Fitri carried out a practically similar
study on 4th December, 2013, named “Kurt Cobain’s Suicide Note
Case: Forensic Linguistic Profiling Analysis”. In the study, Kurt
Cobain’s suicide note is analyzed in terms of genuineness and also
to figure out the motives of the subject related to suicide.
Furthermore, the research tends to make the authorship profiling
of Kurt Cobain based on the lexical items which contain negative
meaning that are related to his psychology.
• In this study, only adjectives are taken into consideration in terms of
positivity, negativity and neutrality in a corpus based on 10 suicide
notes. It is expected to find out whether there are mostly positive,
negative or neutral adjectives.
• What types of adjectives are used in suicide
notes in terms of
• What type of mood do these adjectives
• 10 suicide notes of mostly well-known people
• Adjectives used in the notes are classified as
positive, negative and neutral adjectives.
• This study is limited to adjectives in terms of
positivity, negativity and neutrality. Another
study can be carried out with the nouns or
another part of speech.
Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20,
1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American
musician and artist.
• Kurt Cobain Suicide Note
• To Boddah
• Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an
emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This note should be pretty easy to understand.
• All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years, since my first introduction to the,
shall we say, ethics involved with independence and the embracement of your community has
proven to be very true. I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along
with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guity beyond words about these things.
• For example when we're back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins.,
it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seemed to love, relish in the
the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy. The fact is, I
can't fool you, any one of you. It simply isn't fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would
be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I
should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I've tried everything within my power
to appreciate it (and I do,God, believe me I do, but it's not enough). I appreciate the fact that I and
we have affected and entertained a lot of people. It must be one of those narcissists who only
appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain
the enthusiasms I once had as a child.
• On our last 3 tours, I've had a much better appreciation for all the people I've known personally,
and as fans of our music, but I still can't get over the frustration, the guilt and empathy I have for
everyone. There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes
me feel too fucking sad. The sad little, sensitive, unappreciative, Pisces, Jesus man. Why don't you
just enjoy it? I don't know!
• I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too
much of what i used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is
good and will do her no harm. And that terrifies me to the point to where I can barely function. I
can't stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I've
• I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards
all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy.
Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
• Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the
past years. I'm too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so
remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away.
• Peace, love, empathy. Kurt Cobain
• Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your alter. Please keep going Courtney, for Frances. For her life,
which will be so much happier without me.
• I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!
Kurt Cobain used in his suicide note;
• 50% negative adjectives
• 33.33% positive adjectives
• 16.66% neutral adjectives
(20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-
born German politician and the leader of the Nazi Party. Early on
the morning on April 29, 1945, to avoid capture by the Red Army,
Hitler hastily dictated his last will to his secretary, Frau Traudl
Junge and he wanted his corpse to be burned in order not to be
detected and then he killed himself.
• The Last Will
As I did not consider that I could take responsibility, during the years of struggle, of
contracting a marriage, I have now decided, before the closing of my earthly
career, to take as my wife that girl who, after many years of faithful friendship,
entered, of her own free will, the practically besieged town in order to share her
destiny with me. At her own desire she goes as my wife with me into death. It will
compensate us for what we both lost through my work in the service of my
What I possess belongs - in so far as it has any value - to the Party. Should this no
longer exist, to the State; should the State also be destroyed, no further decision
of mine is necessary.
My pictures, in the collections which I have bought in the course of years, have
never been collected for private purposes, but only for the extension of a gallery in
my home town of Linz on Donau.
It is my most sincere wish that this bequest may be duly executed.
• I nominate as my Executor my most faithful Party comrade, Martin Bormann. He is given full legal
authority to make all decisions. He is permitted to take out everything that has a sentimental value
or is necessary for the maintenance of a modest simple life, for my brothers and sisters, also above
all for the mother of my wife and my faithful co-workers who are well known to him, principally my
old Secretaries Frau Winter etc. who have for many years aided me by their work.
I myself and my wife - in order to escape the disgrace of deposition or capitulation - choose death.
It is our wish to be burnt immediately on the spot where I have carried out the greatest part of my
daily work in the course of a twelve years' service to my people.
Given in Berlin, 29th April 1945, 4:00 a.m.
• A. Hitler
Signed as witnesses:
Dr. Joseph Goebbels
Colonel Nicholaus von Below
Adolf Hitler used in his suicide note;
• 81.81% positive adjectives
• 18.18% neutral adjectives
• 0% negative adjectives
Taken from “The Telegraph” 5:55PM GMT 25 Mar 2014
The suicide notes left by the British teenager and her
American boyfriend, who gunned down a police officer
before killing themselves have been released.
Alexandria Hollinghurst, 17, wrote three notes to her
mother, Debra, her father Tom and her younger sister.
• I could write to you for days, but I know nothing would actually make a
difference to you. You are much too ignorant and self concerned to even
attempt to listen or understand, everyone knows that.
• Thank you, for trying to talk and understand me. After me being honest,
after trying to fix things, thank you for turning a conversation about
depression and suicide into something and about you
• Please understand that when people compare us, I vomit on the inside.
• And thank you for accusing me of being annorexic, FOR YEARS. I’m so
…………. sorry FOR being skinny. If I were, your BITCHY comments that I’m
assuming were your attempt to help, wouldn’t have.
• If I had stayed another minute I would have painted the walls and stained
the carpets with my blood, so you could clean it up
• You are a waste of space, ignorant and a rotten ………. I WISH I WERE
• I’m sorry I continue to dissapoint (sic) you. I’m sorry I’ve changed. I
wish we could rewind. I love you to death but I just couldn’t do it
anymore. Everyday became harder and harder. I know you can’t
understand, and I don’t expect you to. And I don’t know what to tell
you other than I really am sorry, but I know you won’t believe me.
• Dear ……, (her sister)
• I need you to know that you’ve always been my favourite, my
number one. You’re so much younger, but you’re a better person
than me, you always have been. I hope you never take a wrong turn
like I did. I hope you continue to grow. I hope you overcome the
unsecurity and I hope you realise that you are ever so beautiful. I
Alexandria Hollinghurst used in her
• 70% negative adjectives
• 25% positive adjectives
• 5% neutral adjectives
4.John Simon Ritchie – Sid Vicious
John Simon Ritchie (10 May 1957 – 2 February 1979), was an
English bass guitarist and vocalist most famous as a member of
the influential punk group the Sex Pistols.
• We had a death pact, and I have to keep my
half of the bargain. Please bury me next to my
baby in my leather jacket, jeans and
motorcycle boots. Goodbye.
John Simon Ritchie used in his suicide
• 75% neutral adjectives
• 25% negative adjectives
• 0% positive adjectives
(25 February 2003 – 24 February 2008 )
9th President of South Korea.
• I am in debt to so many people. I have caused too
great a burden to be placed upon them. I can't
begin to fathom the countless agonies down the
road. The rest of my life would only be a burden
for others. I am unable to do anything because of
poor health. Do not be too sad. Isn't life and
death all a part of nature? Do not be sorry. Do
not feel resentment toward anyone. It is fate.
Cremate me. And leave only a small tombstone
near home. I've thought on this for a long time.
Roh Moo-Hyun used in his suicide
• 77.77% negative adjectives
• 11.11% positive adjectives
• 11.11% neutral adjectives
6.Peter William Ham
Peter William Ham (27 April 1947 – 24 April 1975) was
a Welsh singer, songwriter and guitarist, primarily recognized for
having been the lead singer/composer of the '70s rock
group Badfinger's hit songs.
• Anne, I love you. Blair, I love you. I will not be
allowed to love and trust everybody. This is
better. Pete. P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless
bastard. I will take him with me.
Peter William Ham used in his suicide
• 50% positive adjectives
• 50% negative adjectives
• 0% neutral adjectives
7.Per Yngve Ohlin – Mayhem
Per Yngve Ohlin (16 January 1969 – 8 April 1991), better known
by his stage name Dead, was a Swedish black/death
metal vocalist and lyricist best known for his work
with Norwegian black metal band Mayhem.
• Excuse the blood, but I have slit my wrists and neck. It was the
intention that I would die in the woods so that it would take a few
days before I was possibly found. I belong in the woods and have
always done so. No one will understand the reason for this anyway.
To give some semblance of an explanation I'm not a human, this is
just a dream and soon I will awake. It was too cold and the blood
was coagulating all the time, plus my new knife is too dull. If I don't
succeed dying to the knife I will blow all the shit out of my skull. Yet
I do not know. I left all my lyrics by "Let the good times roll"—plus
the rest of the money. Whoever finds it gets the fucking thing. As a
last salutation may I present "Life Eternal". Do whatever you want
with the fucking thing. / Pelle.
• I didn't come up with this now, but seventeen years ago.
Per Yngve Ohlin used in his suicide
• 40% negative adjectives
• 40% neutral adjectives
• 20% positive adjectives
8.Hunter Stockton Thompson
Hunter Stockton Thompson (1937 – 2005) was an
American journalist and author.
• No More Games. No More Bombs. No More
Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming.
67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I
needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy.
No Fun - for anybody. 67. You are getting
Greedy. Act your old age. Relax - This won't
Hunter Stockton Thompson used in his
• 13.33% positive adjectives
• 53.33% negative adjectives
• 33.33% neutral adjectives
Clara Blandick (June 4, 1880 – April 15, 1962) was an
American actress, best known for her role as Uncle
Henry's wife, Aunt Em in MGM's The Wizard of Oz.
• I am now about to make the great adventure. I
cannot endure this agonizing pain any longer.
It is all over my body. Neither can I face the
impending blindness. I pray the Lord my soul
to take. Amen.
Clara Blandick used in her suicide note;
• 33.33% positive adjectives
• 66.66% negative adjectives
• 0% neutral adjectives
Christine Chubbuck (August 24, 1944 – July 15, 1974) was an
American television news reporter who worked for WTOG-
TV and WXLT-TV in Florida during her career. She is noted for
committing suicide during a live television broadcast.
• In keeping with Channel 40′s policy of bringing
you the latest in blood and guts, and in living
color, you are going to see another first: an
Christine Chubbuck used in her suicide
• 50% positive adjectives
• 25% negative adjectives
• 25% neutral adjectives
• The average of the adjectives in all of the
suicide notes, used in the study can be shown
• Positive adjectives 31.79%,
• Negative adjectives 45.77%
• Neutral adjectives 22.42%
• Sudjana Eva T. S., Fitri N. (2013). Kurt Cobain’s
Suicide Note Case: Forensic Linguistic Profiling
Analysis. International Journal of Criminology and
Sociological Theory, (6), 217-227