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MAD about the movies - a linguistic study of the titles of movie parodies in MAD Magazine
2002 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to investigate the titles of movie parodies in MAD Magazine and see what linguistic changes they have undergone. MAD Magazine has existed for fifty years, during which time it has given its special view upon various features of American society, such as fashion, politics, occurring events and, not to forget, movies. Movie parodies occur frequently in the magazine and, as they are parodies, the titles also parody the original title. The alterations of the titles include many kinds of word play, which one must have a wide range of knowledge in order to understand. There are many linguistic rules that are bent in word play that one must know about. In jokes, there are also many references to society, which means one must have sociocultural knowledge in order to understand them. Fortunately, we have knowledge of these linguistic rules as well of society, without knowing it ourselves. As I have investigated these parody titles in order to see how the original titles have been altered in order to be made fun of and if the original title has been negativised, I have used over 300 issues of the magazine, from the beginning in 1952 until 1998. My investigation has shown that my suspicion about negativisation was true; almost three fourths of the titles were negativised, but, not to forget, slightly more than one fourth remained positive or neutral. Concerning the changes that the original titles have undergone, there have been alterations of one or more words where the word class of the altered words has either remained the same or been altered as well.

Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to investigate the titles of movie parodies in MAD Magazine and see what linguistic changes they have undergone. MAD Magazine has existed for fifty years, during which time it has given its special view upon various features of American society, such as fashion, politics, occurring events and, not to forget, movies. Movie parodies occur frequently in the magazine and, as they are parodies, the titles also parody the original title. The alterations of the titles include many kinds of word play, which one must have a wide range of knowledge in order to understand. There are many linguistic rules that are bent in word play that one must know about. In jokes, there are also many references to society, which means one must have sociocultural knowledge in order to understand them. Fortunately, we have knowledge of these linguistic rules as well of society, without knowing it ourselves. As I have investigated these parody titles in order to see how the original titles have been altered in order to be made fun of and if the original title has been negativised, I have used over 300 issues of the magazine, from the beginning in 1952 until 1998. My investigation has shown that my suspicion about negativisation was true; almost three fourths of the titles were negativised, but, not to forget, slightly more than one fourth remained positive or neutral. Concerning the changes that the original titles have undergone, there have been alterations of one or more words where the word class of the altered words has either remained the same or been altered as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. , 44 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53690Local ID: ENG C-13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53690DiVA: diva2:1102250
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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  • apa
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