Notes on Intercultural Communication

Accidental Humour

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Engrish – cool website with a treasure of what can happen to the English language.

http://www.engrish.com/category/chinglish/

suspicious-supermarket

Very suspicious, Dr. Watson!

beware-of-unreal-things

Still my favorite.

For a scientific background about this kind of humour, please check this:

Accidental Humor in International Public by Mohammed Farghal

Dept. of English, Kuwait University, Kuwait

Abstract

This paper examines accidental humor as it manifests itself in international public notices displayed in English. It shows that accidental humor, just like intentional humor, essentially stems from script opposition and script overlap (Raskin, 1985). However, it lacks intentionality, which plays a key role in contrived humor. In this way, accidental humor is based on the interaction between the text and the receiver, apart from the producer. In particular, accidental humor in interlingual communication is the output of the producer’s language incompetence in the target language, whereas it is the result of the producer’s landing in unintended ambiguity in intralingual communication. In such humor, therefore, the initiator infringes one or more maxims of conversation (Grice, 1975), unlike intentional humor, where the joke teller exploits conversational maxims for communicative purposes, in order to generate conversational implicature and, subsequently, laughter. (…)

Read his full article here:  http://www.immi.se/intercultural/nr12/farghal.htm

The Immigrant Institutetfrom Sweden offers a large database about different aspects of intercultural research.

Links: http://www.immi.se/intercultural/links.htm

Articles: http://www.immi.se/intercultural/authors.htm

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