Enjoying Sports through Humour: Communication in Online Fan Discussion Forums



Rok publikování 2022
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis This paper addresses the issue of humorous verbal interactions in the new media, concentrating on online discussion forums of sports fans. While recent research has increasingly looked into humorous communication in social media, dealing with various aspects of verbal as well as multimodal – including memetic – interaction (cf. Shifman 2014), the issue of language use and humour construction in specific online groups (or communities of practice, cf. Wenger 1999), remains a relatively under-researched topic, despite the current calls for a more context-based approach to the analysis of humour (Tsakona 2020). Based on a data set from various Czech online discussion forums on sports, the presentation documents diverse instances of humour in the fans’ comments, with the ultimate aim of proposing a sociolinguistic explanation for the omnipresence of humorous phenomena in sports fan discussion forums. The paper starts by identifying the diverse forms of humour attested in the data, ranging from simple puns to complex intertextual references, and proceeds by describing how humour is achieved in dialogic interaction between multiple fans, giving rise to positive/negative responses and, occasionally, subsequent follow-ups. While noting that many of the attested examples are, in certain respects, similar to those found in other forms of digital media communication (cf. Vásquez 2019), we suggest that humour in online fan discussion forums has a more complex interpretation. Engaging in verbal acts of humour appears to be a common communicative strategy – almost a normative perspective – adopted by the users when communicating about sports events. In this way, we argue that humour constitutes a specific way of not only experiencing but also enjoying the event: an act of non-linguistic entertainment is thus matched by an inherently entertaining mode of discourse.
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