Ludic impoliteness and globalisation on Twitter: ‘I speak England very best’ #agglika_Tsipra, #Tsipras #Clinton

Dimitra Vladimirou, Juliane House

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the workings of impoliteness in globalised social media contexts by examining a corpus of approximately 1000 tweets, trending during the 2015 mediatised interview of the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras by the former US president Bill Clinton. Drawing on conceptual tools from social media research, namely, entextualisation, resemiotisation and virality, we focus on tweets including the hashtags #agglika_Tsipra and #Tsipras #Clinton to investigate how face attacks, targeting well known political figures are produced, displayed and circulated through a variety of linguistic semiotic resources. We propose the concept “ludic impoliteness” in order to capture how participants engage in the playful crafting of the Greek PM's socially-mediatised persona as an incompetent leader, ridiculing him, devaluing his professional identity and rendering him a “vernacular spectacle”. Findings suggest that participants deploy a series of analogies and juxtapositions, exploiting predominately locally-oriented resources, such as cultural intertextual references and mixed Greek-English script. The collective, creative mocking of Tsipras' public persona functions as a source of entertainment, community bonding and political critique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-162
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Early online date7 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • social media
  • impoliteness
  • political figures
  • entertainment
  • Twitter communication


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