If someone Tweeted that you had a “face like monkfish genitalia” would you phone your legal team? Or LOL and tell everyone about it? [* see note below] That could depend on your enthusiasm (or otherwise) for ‘Jocular Mockery’.
Which, along with its close cousin ‘Mock Impoliteness’ is examined by Professor Michael Haugh (of the School of Languages and Linguistics at Griffith University, Australia) and Dr. Derek Bousfield (Head of Department, Language, Lingistics and TESOL at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) in their paper: ‘Mock impoliteness, jocular mockery and jocular abuse in Australian and British English’.
“It is argued that jocular mockery and jocular abuse very often occasion evaluations of mock impoliteness, that is evaluations of potentially impolite behaviour as non-impolite, rather than politeness or impoliteness per se, and that these evaluations arise from a shared ethos that places value on ‘not taking yourself too seriously’. It is also suggested such evaluations are cumulative and differentially distributed in multi-party interactions. For these reasons we suggest the mock impoliteness constitutes an [sic] social evaluation in its [own?] right rather than constituting [a?] subsidiary form of either politeness or impoliteness.”
* Note: The 2010 ‘monkfish genitalia’ Tweet [which we should like to make clear is not cited in the paper] referred to UK food critic, writer, journalist, TV presenter and jazz pianist Jay Rayner, who, as a keen supporter of Jocular Mockery, joyfully reprinted it in his book ‘My Dining Hell (Penguin Specials): Twenty Ways To Have a Lousy Night Out’