Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
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This study analyzes language use among a group of gay men who participate on an online messageboard (OnYourKnees), focused on the attainment of a ‘dumb jock’ identity. Posters align with a series of qualities that largely conform to ideologies of American jock masculinity, but at the same time satirize those ideologies: in particular, many posters view as an integral quality of dumb-jock identity ‘dumbness:’ an unwillingness/inability to engage in scholarly/academic pursuits. The repeated citationality of dumbness as a positive quality creates a distinct identity-type that posters link with erotic desire. Orthographic variation contributes to the attainment and recognition of a jock identity: posters who identify as jocks are more likely to display non-standard American English spelling than those who do not. This study thus highlights the importance of orthographic variation in maintaining distinct identities among local communities, especially in a space where traditional ideologies of masculinity are recontextualized.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): adequation; citationality; desire; gay men; jock; orthography
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