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“Ooooh, so strong”: Ironic Responses to Donald Trump’s Presidential Tweets
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
“Ooooh, så stark” : Ironiska svar till Donald Trumps statsmannatweets (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

After Donald Trump won the presidency, his use of social media has gotten massive attention because of its incredibly inappropriate content. Many people question how appropriate his use of Twitter is, and in the linguistic field prominent voices point out that the former businessman does not have the skills to speak; he only talks (McWhorter, 2017). As America’s President with views of his own about worldly events, it is of special interest to see how people interact with him online. Because of the low 39% approval rating, one can assume that many disagree with him, possibly in a way involving irony. One sub-type of irony is described as “the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning” (Merriam-Webster, 2018), and it is reasonable to assume that some responses to Trump’s tweets use irony to present an alternative view of his actions or opinions. The study sets out to find replies to Trump’s tweets that are ironic and identify if they correspond to earlier developed theories of irony. The replies are examined to determine which of Grice’s maxims of conversation that is flouted the most. The data included 337 replies of which 78 (23%) were shown to follow an ironical pattern, mostly in order to ridicule and condemn Trump. 88 % of all comments disagree with Trump’s tweets. The most applicable theory of irony is the echoic interpretation theory by Wilson and Sperber, and the most flouted maxim is relevance.

Abstract [sv]

Sedan Donald Trump ställde upp i presidentvalet och till slut vann valet, har hans användning av sociala medier fått mycket uppmärksamhet p.g.a dess olämpliga innehåll. Många har ifrågasatt lämpligheten i hans Twitter-användning, och lingvistiskt sett menar framstående röster att den tidigare företagsmannen inte äger förmågan att tala; han kan bara prata; och det gör han på Twitter som USA:s president och ger sin egen syn på världsliga händelser. Därför är det av intresse att titta på hur människor reagerar och tilltalar honom på nätet. Med tanke på hans låga popularitetssiffra på 39%, kan det förmodas att många inte håller med honom, och att ironi används som ett sätt att uttrycka en annan åsikt. Ironi beskrivs som “användningen av ord för att uttrycka någonting annat eller speciellt det motsatta av den bokstavliga meningen” (översatt från Merriam-Webster, 2018), vilket är hypotetiskt förväntat i svar till Trumps tweets. Denna studie syftar till att identifiera ironiska kommentarer på Trumps tweets och se om de överensstämmer med tidigare utvecklade teorier kring ironi. Även analys av vilken av Grices konversationsmaximer som bryts oftast görs i studien. Studiens data inkluderar 337 kommentarer, av vilka 78 (23%) är ironiska, oftast med intention att förlöjliga och fördöma Trump. 88% av alla kommentarer håller inte med om innehållet i Trumps tweets. Den mest applicerbara ironi-teorin var “echoic interpretation” teorin (Wilson & Sperber), medan den mest ignorerade konversationsmaximen var relevans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 23
Keywords [en]
Trump, verbal irony, Twitter, maxims of conversation, echoic interpretation
Keywords [sv]
Trump, verbal ironi, Twitter, konversationsmaximer, echoic interpretation
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66378OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66378DiVA, id: diva2:1182949
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Secondary Education Programme: Upper-Secondary School: English (300 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-02-15 Last updated: 2018-02-16Bibliographically approved

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