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‘RoastMe’ [study]

The RoastMe practice emerged in 2015 on the online platform Reddit. Devotees of RoastMe post pictures of themselves (i.e. the Roastee’) whilst holding a placard (of some kind) with the phrase ‘Roast Me’ written on it – with the idea of attracting amusing insults (as comments)

The first academic review of the practice appeared in the Journal of Pragmatics, Volume 139, Pages 1-21.

In this paper, we aim to give a socio-pragmatic account of RoastMe against the backdrop of scholarship on humour and impoliteness. Having discovered the phenomenon, we set out to investigate its workings and general characteristics, which could be done only by poring over copious amounts of data (both Roasts and their underlying rules) on the original website, namely the RoastMe subreddit; as well as on other social media, notably Imgur, that repost select specimens of RoastMe. These are also the sources of the examples given in the course of this article. This bottom-up analysis of RoastMe, based on inductive reasoning, yielded the hallmarks of RoastMe.

The full open access paper, replete with roastee photo examples, can be perused here : Risum teneatis, amici?☆: The socio-pragmatics of RoastMe humour

( ☆ Latin: “Can you help laughing, friends?” )

Research research Martin Gardiner

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