University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Humour With a Purpose: Creativity With Language in Facebook Status Updates

Lewin-Jones, Jenny (2015) Humour With a Purpose: Creativity With Language in Facebook Status Updates. Linguistik Online, 72 (3). ISSN 1615-3014

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This paper examines everyday linguistic creativity and humour in Facebook status updates. Analysis of the updates, collected in 2011 from 60 UK users, shows how people achieve particular humorous tones through creative combinations of lexis and syntax, adding reinforcements such as innovative punctuation to tighten the construction of the update. The linguistic features they use are not in themselves novel, but the creativity lies in the individuals' effective selection and use of them. The language is often playful, but the whole performance has a serious purpose: people invite a sympathetic perspective on themselves. Humour, particularly self-deprecation, is used to construct a personal narrative and thus perform their identity. In short, the paper celebrates the capacity of ordinary people to seize opportunities for using language skilfully and creatively to represent themselves and their lives.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: creativity, language, Facebook status updates, linguistic creativity, humour
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: Open Access Journal
Depositing User: Jenny Lewin-Jones
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2016 09:49
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2016 09:49

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