8.2.5 Audience Interpretation Of The Story

Here there is no ‘story’ as such, the problems of interpretation centring on the comment from RB in 53, which is received by some as a joke and by others as an insult. Of the discussants, all except BM show some kind of amusement as an immediate response. Once BM objects (59), however, both JK (61) and EM (68) express their agreement with BM’s critical interpretation of 53. The studio audience respond with general laughter and some applause. This does not mean that every single member of the studio audience is amused by 53, but the fact that a good number were amused shows an interpretation of 53 as a joke. An explanation for these differing interpretations will be offered below.


8 Humour in Context: The Thatcher Joke>

8.2 The Discussants>

8.2.1 Different Competence In A Domain Of Discourse>

8.2.2 Assessing Competence In The Details Of Talk>

8.2.3 Non-engrossed Recipients>

8.2.4 Heterogeneity Of The On-Stage Audience>

8.2.5 Audience Interpretation Of The Story

8.2.6 Reconstituting The On-Stage Audience>