ELEMENTS THAT ADVOCATE HUMOUR IN FUNNY CAPTIONS: SUNDAY ISLAND - SRI LANKAN WEEKLY ENGLISH NEWSPAPERJournal: International Journal of Advanced Research (Vol.6, No. 9)
Publication Date: 2018-09-08
Authors : Nirupa D. Ranasinghe.;
Page : 215-228
Keywords : Humour subjective contextual knowledge literary devices linguistic devices.;
Sunday Island, the weekly Sri Lankan English newspaper, conducts the contest, Funny Captions, in its segment titled, Competition. Readers are expected to forward humorous photo captions based on the given photo and cutline; and being a competition, the commended captions are published subsequently. The objective of this study was to identify the elements that impact humour in the photo captions. The corpus of this qualitative study was a manual selection of sixty captions from December 2017 to May 2018. Among these captions, the primary data were gathered with maximum variation in terms of linguistic features, varied sentence structures and other elements. The secondary data were gathered through a questionnaire distributed among a maximum heterogeneous purposive sample, representing both genders, 18 to above 55 years. Literature reviews were explored and the theory, Systemic Functional Linguistics, which is a base of Multimodal Discourse Analysis, was implemented to justify the elements that promote humour in the funny captions. Despite humour being subjective, this study identified numerous elements that are needed to promote humour, such as, contextual knowledge of the reader, length of the statement and the literary devices: alliteration, rhythm, analogy, pun, irony, repetition and code-switching. While the respondents identified the abovementioned vital factors in varied interpretations and percentages, captions without humour were also identified. Therefore it is suggested that a photo caption of a newspaper should possess varied linguistic and literary devices in comparatively short statements; for readers to enjoy its humour, together with his/her contextual knowledge.
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