Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
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A growing line of research focuses on users’ discussions on social networking sites regarding the causes and consequences of the Greek crisis, as well as on online impoliteness in polarised political debates. Following this trend, I set out to examine how vocatives meant to address non-present interactants (such as politicians or collectivised others) are employed by Greek Facebook and YouTube users to delegitimate their perceived political opponents and attribute blame for the country’s problematic politico-economic situation. I am focusing both on standardly impolite vocatives (personalised negative vocatives) and on superficially polite vocatives (vocatives of mock-endearment and mock-deference), examining their structure and purpose in comments discussing the critical period of the 2015 Greek referendum and subsequent elections. Findings suggest that users exploit norms of standardised politeness and cultural expectations within the Greek interactional context to denigrate their political opponents. Additionally, capitalising on salient discourses on the Greek crisis and on the Greek historical past, on the political content of their discussions, and on the affordances of social media, they take advantage of taboo themes typically associated with impoliteness to name the culprits behind the troublesome everyday Greek reality.


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