‘I love James Blunt as much as I love herpes’ – ‘I love that you're not ashamed to admit you have both’: Attempted insults and responses on Twitter

C. McVittie, Rahul Sambaraju, F. Bain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

To date, little research has examined participants' understandings of insults. We examine (potentially) derogatory talk and its consequences in interactions on Twitter, considering instances on the Twitter feed of one high-profile user. Discourse analysis identifies four forms of response to attempted insults: (1) ascribing category membership to first contributor, (2) taking up first contributor self-identification, (3) syntactic echoing, and (4) co-constructing criticism. These responses treat the original remark as literally accurate, and thereby ‘breach’ the usual expectations of talk. Thus, insulting is an outcome that must be accomplished in interaction. Otherwise, derogatory talk can become no more than failed insults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
JournalLanguage and Communication
Volume76
Early online date24 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • breaching experiment
  • conversation analysis
  • doing literal
  • insult talk
  • Twitter

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '‘I love James Blunt as much as I love herpes’ – ‘I love that you're not ashamed to admit you have both’: Attempted insults and responses on Twitter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this