Speaking in the Free Marketplace of Ideas: The Stylistics of Humour in “Blogversations”

Speaking in the Free Marketplace of Ideas: The Stylistics of Humour in “Blogversations”

Bimbola Idowu-Faith (Bowen University, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0338-5.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter applies the mechanisms of conversational humour to interactional processes in blogs. With blogs giving room for uninhibited personal and interactional publishing which create virtual communities through written contributions that can best be regarded as conversations or “blogversations,” blogs are veritable sites for the investigation of conversational humour. Drawing its data from Linda Ikeji's Blog, the chapter investigates how the blog author creates humorous keys to induce humorous turns from her readers and how the readers respond to and sustain the humour. The chapter also examines how readers undermine the seriousness of posts lacking keyed humour by generating humour against author's expectation. As humour occurs from both author's and readers' ends, it is established that conversational humour is a collaborative effort that strengthens social bonds and acts as a tool for sustaining entertainment and for motivating blog users to visit, to speak, to hear, and to be heard again.
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Blog As Conversation

Ever since the emergence of the Internet, scholars have been busy interpreting its implication from various theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. Silver (2000) however notes that most of such research has focused on the “‘twin pillars of cybercultural studies’: virtual communities and identities” (cited in Hookway, 2008, p. 91). As one significant cybercultural community, the blog has received remarkable attention from linguists who investigate the nature of language in computer-mediated discourses. For example, Jacobson (1996) investigated the pragmatics of naming in computer-mediated discourse; Herring (1994) examined intercultural aspects of politeness; Baym (1996) studied the management of disagreement; Herring (1999) considered interactional coherence; and O’Neill and Martin (2003) examined turn-taking.

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