Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
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This study aims to show how intertextuality is exploited as an impoliteness resource in online reader comments on the website of a London-based pan-Arab Arabic-language daily newspaper. Analysis of 140 reader responses containing impolite references shows that readers called upon and appropriated the language and imagery of impolite and culturally salient prior texts from four sources to perform impoliteness: traditional scriptures, historical texts, poetic texts, and popular proverbs. The use and reception of these impolite intertextualities rely on familiarity with the intertextual source in question. The creative recycling of privileged authoritative texts, use of metaphorical language, invoking of gender identity, and reproducing of particular ideologies played a pivotal role in performing this intertextual impoliteness. The perception of such intertextual impoliteness is crucially influenced by culture as a “general text” (Kristeva 1980) that adds to the complexity of impoliteness when analyzed within a culture-specific context.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arab politics; face; identity; impoliteness; intertextuality; online reader responses
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