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Computer-mediated humor and ethos: Exploring threads of constitutive laughter in online communities
ARTICLE

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Computers and Composition Volume 20, Number 3, ISSN 8755-4615 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

Joking seems to be an inescapable part of the culture of email and mailing lists, and yet few have described the rhetorical functions of humor in these text-based forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC). In this article, we argue that humor serves a critical ethos function in online communities created by mailing lists. By connecting what humor theorists already recognize as a social dimension in joking to the contemporary interpretation of ethos as a constitutive force, we find that humor constitutes a virtual group ethos. Our model of ethos-building humor emphasizes its computer mediation, drawing close attention to what we identify as threads of constitutive laughter that form in mailing list discourse. We apply the model to the rhetoric of a university writing center mailing list.

Citation

Hübler, M.T. & Bell, D.C. (2003). Computer-mediated humor and ethos: Exploring threads of constitutive laughter in online communities. Computers and Composition, 20(3), 277-294. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 9, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers and Composition on January 31, 2019. Computers and Composition is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S8755-4615(03)00036-7

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