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Puns in Internet Memes : A Study of 9GAG


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Šimon, Maja. (2019). Puns in Internet Memes : A Study of 9GAG. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan].

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Memes, defined as units of cultural transmission on the Internet, play an important part in delivering humour in online communities where they bring people and ideas together. The primary aim of this paper is to observe the various ways a pun, wordplay in which multiple ideas are combined within one word or expression, is used in memes and online communication. To achieve this, I have collected posts and comments from 9GAG, a platform for sharing humorous content, during a 24-hour period. While it is impossible to know the reasoning behind every pun posted to the site, three theories of humour — superiority, relief and incongruity theories — offer some explanation. Given its stable user base, history, self-awareness and traditions, 9GAG can be defined as a community of practice brought together by humour. From the research material that included 564 posts and 100.794 comments, several points became apparent —some topics simply attracted more attention, some had wordplay more easily available, and some did both. It should be noted that the highest ratio of puns to comments appeared in posts whose main focus was a pun. This results in a snowball effect where users participate in inventing more puns and remixing or recontextualizing the original image of a scene in the comments, creating new utterances. This is an exchange not necessarily between the commenters themselves, but between the author of the post and the user who posted the pun, thereby building a community of practice.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: online community, community of practice, memes, puns, recontextualization
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 10:17
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2019 10:17

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