Friends And The Big Bang Theory Essay

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The Breach of Cooperative Principle in the Conversation of Friends and The Big Bang Theory Cooperative Principle was put forward by a famous American language philosopher H. P. Grice, when he gave a lecture at Harvard University in1967. He pointed out that in daily communication, in order to achieve a particular communicative purpose, there is a tacit understanding between the speaker and the listener. In other words, there is a principle that both of them should abide. He called this principle “Cooperative Principle”: “Conversation is interactive, speakers are often eager to participate in the communicative event” (Quaglio, 2009). In order to communicate successfully, each speaker in the conversation should conform to the generally accepted purpose or direction. The cooperative principle can make communication and cooperation successful, let people cooperate effectively and accomplish the task. The cooperative principle which people should observe, includes four categories, every category is considered of a norm and some subordinate norms: 1) the Maxim of Quantity; 2) the Maxim of Quality; 3) the Maxim of Relation; 4) the Maxim of Manner. (Davis, 1998) Many sitcoms breach the Cooperative Principle in their conversations in order to generate humor. “Humor is a message which aims at causing laughter.” (Walte, 2007) For example, Friends and The Big Bang Theory are both popular sitcoms in America. The humorous conversation in the show often makes the audience laugh. In this essay, I compare the conversations in the Friends and The Big Bang Theory in order to demonstrate how sitcoms generate humor by “breaching the Cooperative Principle”. The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom. It uses “scientific genius” as the background. In the show, there are five main characters. Sheldon Cooper is a theoretical physicist. His roommate Leonard Hofstadter is an experimental

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