University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

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

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

Lewin-Jones (2015) Humour with a purpose.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (457kB) | Preview


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 Discrete Keywords: creativity, language, Facebook status updates, linguistic creativity, humour
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: Open Access Journal
Depositing User: Jenny Lewin-Jones
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2016 09:49
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:09

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.