Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"We're totally getting married…: Verbal Irony Use in Computer-mediated Communication
by Graham, Brett, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2016, 52; 10128868
Abstract (Summary)

Cell phones are an essential piece of communication technology in today’s world. Though pocket sized computers provide the ability to have verbal communication between almost anyone in the world, it is often forgotten that these devices also allow non-verbal communication. Short Message Service (SMS), more commonly known as text messaging, enables cell phones to send and receive short messages from others instead of making a phone call. When using texting, there is a lack of verbal and visual non-verbal cues that we normally experience speaking over the phone or face-to-face (FtF). One of the more often mistranslated functions of communication when texting is verbal irony. Verbal irony is difficult to decipher in text due to the lack of cues. This study examines whether verbal irony can accurately be deciphered in texting, and if it is possible to correctly convey verbal irony in SMS. Additional questions include what category of verbal irony provides the clearest interpretation, the effect of emoticons on understanding, and possible gender differences in interpretation and creation of verbal irony. After collection and analysis of data, the research has shown that it is possible to correctly convey verbal irony if certain patterns are followed. There is an overwhelming use of emoticons, particularly the disappointed face, and the use of ellipsis when creating verbal irony within text messages. In both cases, it shows to be beneficial. There are gender differences in the interpretation of verbal irony including the concept that same gendered senders and receivers are more accurate in interpretation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wrobbel, E. Duff
Commitee: Alexander, Alicia, DeGroot, Jocelyn
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Speech Communications
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Web Studies
Keywords: Computer mediated communication, Emoji, Emoticon, Sarcasm, Text messaging
Publication Number: 10128868
ISBN: 9781339868462
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