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Fake intimacy: Strategies of engagement in Israeli gossip columns
Unformatted Document Text:  events (the party) and reporting event (the gossip item); the gap between the two leaves room for implied, if not direct, criticism (Bauman 1992; Briggs and Bauman 1992) Columnists use a variety of strategies to achieve an ironic affect, ridiculing and criticizing the people and their actions. One such strategy is using direct speech to duplicate “behind the back” reporting: quoting the words people use shifts the responsibility for the content from the reporter to the author of the utterances themselves (Irvine 1996). The above example when the not-so gentle language of Tova’le is quoted becomes another proof of her vulgarity. Reporters are more than happy to let the nation know about the verbal pitfalls of idols and eagerly quote other unfortunate expressions. In December 1994 Shlihut Katlanit had a long item about the new fad of Israeli business people to employ a chauffeur. Under the title “Driving Miss Albin” we read: 8. “For me he is not a driver, he is Guy,” reports businesswoman Galya Albin. “When he drives me to parties, I make sure he gets some food, and even bring out food for him myself. I also give him reading material, let him be educated. When the block told me he is an astrologist, astronaut, I don’t remember, I brought him books about the stars. Let him evolve, why not? I’m not the kind who sits in the back and gives orders.” (9/12/94; Gaffi Amir). This item contrasts registers and styles. The title of the item refers to the movie (the gossip item was worded after the Hebrew title), and presuppose a certain mode of interaction between driver and boss, which turns out to be different. Unlike miss Daisy, miss Albin appears to be condescending, ignorant and not really caring about the driver. We find here the use of double voice: who is the author of the text: is the columnist really

Authors: Schely-Newman, Esther.
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events (the party) and reporting event (the gossip item); the gap between the two leaves
room for implied, if not direct, criticism (Bauman 1992; Briggs and Bauman 1992)
Columnists use a variety of strategies to achieve an ironic affect, ridiculing and
criticizing the people and their actions. One such strategy is using direct speech to
duplicate “behind the back” reporting: quoting the words people use shifts the
responsibility for the content from the reporter to the author of the utterances themselves
(Irvine 1996). The above example when the not-so gentle language of Tova’le is quoted
becomes another proof of her vulgarity. Reporters are more than happy to let the nation
know about the verbal pitfalls of idols and eagerly quote other unfortunate expressions. In
December 1994 Shlihut Katlanit had a long item about the new fad of Israeli business
people to employ a chauffeur. Under the title “Driving Miss Albin” we read:
8. “For me he is not a driver, he is Guy,” reports businesswoman Galya
Albin. “When he drives me to parties, I make sure he gets some food, and
even bring out food for him myself. I also give him reading material, let
him be educated. When the block told me he is an astrologist, astronaut, I
don’t remember, I brought him books about the stars. Let him evolve, why
not? I’m not the kind who sits in the back and gives orders.” (9/12/94;
Gaffi Amir).
This item contrasts registers and styles. The title of the item refers to the movie
(the gossip item was worded after the Hebrew title), and presuppose a certain mode of
interaction between driver and boss, which turns out to be different. Unlike miss Daisy,
miss Albin appears to be condescending, ignorant and not really caring about the driver.
We find here the use of double voice: who is the author of the text: is the columnist really


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