“It is our contention that humor, particularly humor that conveys ethos, pervades the rhetorical process of forming and maintaining online groups. Humor theorist Michael Mulkay (1988) affirmed the socio-rhetorical power of humor when he observed that “both ‘social structure’ and ‘joke’ refer to organized patterns of discourse” and that somehow “social structures may reproduce the linguistic form of a joke” (p. 157).“
Humor carries ethos
Aristotle, when speaking of ethos said that the ethical appeal was exerted when the speech itself impresses the audience that the speaker is a person of sound sense.
Ethos is otherwise defined as the characteristic spirit if a culture, or community.
The CMC discourse of virtual communities may resemble oral discourse because of its informal, conversational nature, but a digital text message, particularly electronic mail, is a “hybrid” text that shares elements of written and oral communication in novel ways (Johanyak, 1997, pp. 91–92).
“NONONONONONONONONONONONO!… YOU ARE GETTING VERY SLEEPY! YOU WILL FORGET THAT YOU EVER READ MY MESSAGE! HAHAHA! YEAH! THAT’S IT!” (p. 10). The combination of emphasizing with capital letters, blurring words together without spaces, using exclamation points, and adding a canned textual laugh set the tone for the hypnotic humor.
Explaining humor=great way to kill humor