CMNS 304W Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Fornication, Semiotics, Chinese Whispers

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David Wilton (Word Myths: Debunking Urban Legends, Oxford Press 2004) cites the following
reasons for urban legends:
They are fun or funny;
Sharing them validates group identity or reinforce exclusion from a group;
The appeal to oes iterests;
The a e used to ake fu of the high ad ight;
They are political or hegemonic (e.g., the false claim that Coca Cola in Chinese means
ite the a tadpole * prootes a popular approah to usiess ad arketig;
The hae alue as eupheiss (e.g., tikers da → tikers da, Foriatio Uder
Consent of the King);
They explain mysteries.
Game shows and Gossip are examples of the ritual mode of communication.
To see how the ritual mode differs from the transmission mode, consider the game
broken telephone.
As communications travel from person to person we often shift the semiotics
We dot lie i a orld that all stories are true through post-modernism
We must be able to identify the bias / context of communication.
Everyday communication is technical, language is practical sometimes it works in our
favor or the favor of others.
What is everyday communication?
It is technical it involves processes of logic and language-in-use
It has practical applications.
We can approach it scientifically.
It is not neutral-it involves social processes that other can use to take advantage of us if
we are not skeptical
It is dialogic, it results in negotiated meanings
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