Minodora SĂLCUDEAN; Radu Ștefan MOTOROIU
Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu, Facultatea de Științe Socio-Umane; Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences
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Visual Humor through Internet Memes. Iconicity, Irony and Virality in the Digital Age (I)
As contemporary instances of visual and iconic discourse, memes represent the most accessible form of entertainment as of today. Their huge online success goes back to a few characteristics of their content, such as humor, intertextuality, quick reception, and others, mostly related to their free and fully accessible circulation, with an ever-present potential of going viral. The memes’ discursive nature can be exploited in interdisciplinary studies with a view to the pragmatics of complementary languages (visual and verbal), the meta-languages, as well as to the perlocutionary effects of a social and cultural nature, that are quantifiable nowadays in the digital medium. This article contains a theoretical and a practical part, the latter consisting in exemplification by analyzing a meme on a subject of transgenderism, whereas the interpretation activates two sides: (1) humor generated by the iconic discourse, and (2) the memes’ potential of stigmatizing.
Keywords: meme, Internet, virality, iconicity, visual discourse, digital humor.
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