A joking matter: sociolinguistics at work within Southwest Airlines
Plested, Valerie A.
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Plested, Valerie A. (1998). A joking matter: sociolinguistics at work within Southwest Airlines. -- Lambda Alpha Journal, v.28, p.10-15.
The purpose of this project is to detennine how the clients of Southwest Airlines react to its use of language, how it functions to create an atmosphere ofcommunity or friendliness with the airline, and explore the implications of the ritual state engendered. For the purposes ofthis paper, a joke may be defined as by Random House (1993, p.1033) as "something said or done to provoke laughter or cause amusement, as a witticism, a short and amusing anecdote, or a prankish act" with the qualification that additional humor is implied through the irreverence atypical for the environment in which it occurs. The incongruity between the humor and the setting is important, because it is at this juncture that they meet where Southwest Airlines succeeds in generating a different operating environment.