Goading as a social action
This paper addresses particular social actions present in a data set of short message emails where interactants use potentially impolite strategies frequently. The particular social action under analysis here is that of goading, a term coined to describe <i>targeted banter</i> (banter directed toward a ratified participant in interaction). However, evaluations of impoliteness are not always shared across participants in these goading sequences, as follow-up interviews show some disaffiliation between individual participants’ understanding of the prior turns. It is more common in this data set to find tokens of goading being evaluated as non-impolite rather than impolite, suggesting that participants perceive the humorous nature of goading. Yet, among a tiny community of practice of only four individuals, even these non-impolite evaluations are not always shared. This paper attempts to add to the empirical study of im/politeness to account for goading as a type of banter or jocular mockery and situate it in the ever-increasing set of actions which cannot be straightforwardly categorized as second-order politeness or as impoliteness.