Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0035-3906
  • E-ISSN: 1600-0811
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Humorous discourse overlays conventional discourse, providing both a humorous surface interpretation of reality, and a serious or standard underlying one. This paper attempts to show how humorous discourse in printed advertising usually produces a deviant understanding due to the fact that there is normally an incongruous sign or icon that distorts our vision of things. There is a transgression of common norms that transforms familiar things into weird and bizarre, creating a playful message. We distinguish various humorous procedures: irony, sarcasm, parody, pastiche, wit, absurdity, rarity and paradox. These procedures are categorized in three main functions: (a) amusement, when humor is seen as entertainment; (b) cynicism, when it is provocative; and (c) criticism, when it is understood as reproof. Humor must produce an unexpected, but pleasant, relationship with the recipient, who is always prompted to make firstly a common sense interpretation. In that way, recipient’s cooperation is necessary to obtain the humorous effect.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): advertising; humor; humor categories; humor functions; serious discourse
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