Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-3851
  • E-ISSN: 2542-386X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


The discussion in this paper proposes to shed light on a hitherto under-researched area: commenting on columns. Borrowing the basic notions of deliberative and epidictic genres from classical rhetoric and accommodating them to a pragmatic study of online interaction between commenters and columnists, readers’ comments are conceived as follow-ups, which necessarily re-contextualize the initiating column. The mixed character of the initiating columns, which combine deliberative and epidictic features, encourages the commenters to choose between different readings of the columns in context, and exercise their discursive power in re-contextualizing the commenting/column interaction. The analysis suggests that in the data discussed here, commenters manifest clear preference for the epidictic. By so doing, they depart from norms of deliberation manifest in habitual political commenting. On a more general level, the analysis supports the initial claim, namely that by choosing between different readings of the initiating columns and following-up on them, commenters have the discursive power to shape and re-shape the interaction through preferred commenting strategies.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Amossy, Ruth
    2000L’argumentation dans le Discours: Discours Politique, Littérature d’Idées. Nathan: Paris.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Amossy, Ruth , and Roselyne Koren
    2010 “La <diabolisation>: Un avatar du discours polémique au prisme des présidentielles de 2007.” InAu Corps du Texte: Hommage à Georges Molinié, ed. by Delphine Denis , Mireille Huchon , Anna Jaubert , Michael Rinn , and Olivier Soutet , 219–236. Champion: Paris.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Aristotle
    Aristotle 1954Rhetoric (transl. by W. Rhys Roberts , Ingram Bywater , and Friedrich Solmsen ). New York: Modern Library.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Atkin, Hila
    2016Readers’ Comments on Op-Eds – Evaluation and Response to Irony. M. A. thesis, Bar-Ilan University.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Benziman, Uzzi
    2011 Aharey Mot, Ha’ayin hashvi’it (after death, The Seventh Eye) 35, 01.11.2011. (in Hebrew)
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bohman, James
    2004 “Expanding dialogue: the Internet, the public sphere and prospects for transnational democracy.” InAfter Habermas: New Perspectives on the Public Sphere, ed. by Nick Crossley , and John Michael Roberts , 131–155. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Dori-Haohen, Gonen , and Nimrod Shavit
    2013 “The cultural meanings of Israeli Tokbek (Talk-Back Online Commenting) and their relevance to the online democratic public sphere.” International Journal of Electronic Governance6 (4): 361–379. doi: 10.1504/IJEG.2013.060649
    https://doi.org/10.1504/IJEG.2013.060649 [Google Scholar]
  8. Fetzer, Anita , and Elda Weizman
    2015 “Introduction.” InFollow-Ups in Political Discourse: Explorations across Contexts and Discourse Domains, ed. by Elda Weizman , and Anita Fetzer , IX–XIX. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/dapsac.60.001int
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.60.001int [Google Scholar]
  9. Fetzer, Anita , Elda Weizman , and Larry N. Berlin
    (eds.) 2015The Dynamics of Political Discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.259
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.259 [Google Scholar]
  10. Grice, H. Paul
    1975 “Logic and conversation.” InSyntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts, ed. by Peter Cole , and Jerry Morgan , 41–58. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. 1978 “Further notes on logic and conversation.” InPragmatics (Syntax and Semantic 9), ed. by Peter Cole , 113–127. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Habermas, Jürgen
    1989The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 1992Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Haverkate, Henk
    1990 “A speech act analysis of irony.” Journal of Pragmatics14(1): 77–109. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(90)90065‑L
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(90)90065-L [Google Scholar]
  15. Johansson, Marjut
    2015 “Bravo for this editorial: writer’s opinions in comment sections.” InFollow-Ups in Political Discourse: Explorations across contexts and discourse domains, ed. by Elda Weizman , and Anita Fetzer , 219–243. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.259.09joh
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.259.09joh [Google Scholar]
  16. Johansson, Marjut , Sonja Kleinke , and Lotta Lehti
    2017 “The digital agora of social media: Introduction.” Discourse shulxan arux Context & Media19:1–4.10.1016/j.dcm.2017.09.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2017.09.007 [Google Scholar]
  17. Karo, Yossef
    1563 “Shulchan Arux, yore dea.” [Set Table, Will Teach Knowledge] 344:2. Torat emet online. www.toratemetfreeware.com/online/f_01976_part_60.html#HtmpReportNum0002_L2. Acc.May 2017. (in Hebrew)
  18. Kleinke, Sonia
    2010 “Interactive aspects of computer-mediated communication: ‘Disagreement’ in an English and German public news group.” InDiscourses in Interaction, ed. by Sanna-Kaisa Tanskanen , Marja-Liisa Helasvuo , Marjut Johansson , and Mia Raitaniemi , 195–222. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.203.15kle
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.203.15kle [Google Scholar]
  19. Kohn, Ayelet , and Motti Neiger
    2007 “To talk and talkback: Analyzing the rhetoric of talkbacks in online journalism.” Online Newspapers in Israel, ed. by Tehila Shwattz-Altshuler , 321–350. Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy Institute and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (in Hebrew)
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Laërtius, Diogenes
    . (3rd century AD tr. 1959) Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Book 1(transl. by Robert Drew Hicks ). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Linell, Per
    1998Approaching Dialogue: Talk, Interaction and Context in Dialogic Perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/impact.3
    https://doi.org/10.1075/impact.3 [Google Scholar]
  22. Manosevitch, Idit
    2011 “User generated content in the Israeli online journalism Landscape.” Israel Affairs173: 422–444. doi: 10.1080/13537121.2011.584670
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13537121.2011.584670 [Google Scholar]
  23. Papacharissi, Zizi
    2014Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199999736.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199999736.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  24. Perelman, Chaim , and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca
    1969The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation (transl. by John Wilkinson and Purcell Weaver ). Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Quintillian, Institutio Oratoria Book III
    Quintillian, Institutio Oratoria Book III transl. by H. E. Butler ). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. https://archive.org/stream/institutioorator00quin/institutioorator00quin_djvu.txt, acc.May 15, 2017.
  26. Richardson, John E. , and James Stanyer
    2011 “Reader opinion in the digital age: tabloid and broadsheet newspaper websites and the exercise of political voice.” Journalism12(8): 983–1003. doi: 10.1177/1464884911415974
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884911415974 [Google Scholar]
  27. Roeh, Itzhak
    1982The Rhetoric of News in the Israel Radio: Some Implications of Language and Style for Newstelling. Bochum: Studienverlag N. Brockmeyer.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Sperber, Dan , and Deirdre Wilson
    1981 “Irony and the use-mention distinction.” InRadical Pragmatics, ed. by Peter Cole , 295–318. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Sterling, Christopher H.
    (ed.) 2009Encyclopedia of Journalism. Thousand Oaks: Sage. doi: 10.4135/9781412972048
    https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412972048 [Google Scholar]
  30. Upadhyay, Shiv R.
    2010 “Identity and impoliteness in computer-mediated reader responses.” Journal of Politeness Research6 (1): 105–127. doi: 10.1515/jplr.2010.006
    https://doi.org/10.1515/jplr.2010.006 [Google Scholar]
  31. Weizman, Elda
    2011 “Conveying indirect reservations through discursive redundancy.” Language Sciences33(2): 295–304. doi: 10.1016/j.langsci.2010.10.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2010.10.006 [Google Scholar]
  32. 2012 “Negotiating irony through follow-ups: Readers’ comments on op-eds in the daily press.” InProceedings of the ESF Strategic Workshop on Follow-ups across Discourse Domains: A Cross-cultural Exploration of Their Forms and Functions, Würzburg (Germany), 31 May-2 June 2012, ed. by Anita Fetzer , Elda Weizman , and Elizabeth Reber . opus.bibliothek.uni-wuerzburg.de/volltexte/2012/7165/
    [Google Scholar]
  33. 2015 “Irony in and through follow-ups: talk and meta-talk in online commenting.” InThe Dynamics of Political Discourse: Forms and Functions of Follow-ups, ed. by Anita Fetzer , Elda Weizman , and Lawrence N. Berlin , 173–194. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.259.07wei
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.259.07wei [Google Scholar]
  34. 2016 “Ironic commenting on op-eds: Obstructing discussion.” Israel Studies in Language and Society9 (1–2):184–208. (in Hebrew)
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Weizman, Elda , and Anita Fetzer
    (eds.) 2015Follow-Ups in Political Discourse: Explorations across Contexts and Discourse Domains. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/dapsac.60
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.60 [Google Scholar]
  36. Weizman, Elda , and Gonen Dori-Hacohen
    2017 “Commenting on opinion editorials in online journals: A cross-cultural examination of face-work in the Washington Post (USA) and NRG (ISRAEL).” Discourse, Context & Media19: 39–48.10.1016/j.dcm.2017.02.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2017.02.001 [Google Scholar]
  37. Wilson, Deirder , and Dan Sperber
    1992 “On verbal irony.” Lingua87: 77–90. doi: 10.1016/0024‑3841(92)90025‑E
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-3841(92)90025-E [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): deliberative; epidictic; follow-ups; genres; online commenting
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error