The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 9, No 1 (2021)

Linguistic ridicule as a reflection of the confrontation between the political power and society

Alla Vladimirovna Kornienko


This paper presents the words, collocations, and expressions which have been announced as winners of the Word of the Year contest, held on an annual basis in Russia for the last 12 years. Taken together, all these lexical units allow us to draw conclusions about some current trends in the modern-day Russian public discourse, namely its explicit politicization, increased emotionality, and the use of word play in an indirect dialogue with the political authorities. The inner meaning of word play, which is particularly widespread in social networks, represents the users’ critical attitude, aiming to undermine conventional values through ridicule. Illustrative examples reflecting the views of the Facebook community (winners of the “Word of the Year”) are cited in the paper.



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