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Fake intimacy: Strategies of engagement in Israeli gossip columns
Unformatted Document Text:  grandma.’” And the nation kept silent. (June 26, 1996; written by Thiya Adar). This lengthy report describes Ms. Hassin in less than favorite terms: she is presumptuous, what else can the reader understand from the reference to her as “the reality and the fiction,” or “the legend.” Furthermore, the word hamoni in Hebrew means both populous and vulgar; leaving the reader to decide were there many people invited to the event, or was the party as vulgar as Ms. Hassin herself. The vulgarity is reinforced not only by the readers’ knowledge about Ms. Hassin (from previous gossip columns) but also from her answer to the shouting kids, “your mama,” an event that Tova herself is apparently eager to share. The story may be read only as a report of the event for those not invited; but the mixture of high register and breaking collocations “ear and heart breaking” indicates other, covert, meanings. Register mixture is a common technique used to ridicule and criticize behavior. Furthermore, the last comment, “and the nation kept silent” veha-am shotek conjures other connotations, perhaps better translated as, “and the lambs kept silent.” By this coda an even greater cleavage is created between the content and the style. The incongruence between the action of a legendary (presumptuous) individual and the nation is irony in action (Dascal and Weitzman1987). Positioning Tova’le against the entire nation increases her presumptuousness and ridicules her. Here too, it is the gossip columnist who becomes our representative who may put his/her own life in jeopardy in order to bring us the news from the front. The use of coda, which appears frequently in the items of Slihut Katlanit, allow the columnist to shift the distance between reported

Authors: Schely-Newman, Esther.
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grandma.’” And the nation kept silent. (June 26, 1996; written by Thiya
Adar).
This lengthy report describes Ms. Hassin in less than favorite terms: she is
presumptuous, what else can the reader understand from the reference to her as “the
reality and the fiction,” or “the legend.” Furthermore, the word hamoni in Hebrew means
both populous and vulgar; leaving the reader to decide were there many people invited to
the event, or was the party as vulgar as Ms. Hassin herself. The vulgarity is reinforced not
only by the readers’ knowledge about Ms. Hassin (from previous gossip columns) but
also from her answer to the shouting kids, “your mama,” an event that Tova herself is
apparently eager to share.
The story may be read only as a report of the event for those not invited; but the
mixture of high register and breaking collocations “ear and heart breaking” indicates
other, covert, meanings. Register mixture is a common technique used to ridicule and
criticize behavior. Furthermore, the last comment, “and the nation kept silent” veha-am
shotek conjures other connotations, perhaps better translated as, “and the lambs kept
silent.” By this coda an even greater cleavage is created between the content and the
style. The incongruence between the action of a legendary (presumptuous) individual and
the nation is irony in action (Dascal and Weitzman1987). Positioning Tova’le against the
entire nation increases her presumptuousness and ridicules her. Here too, it is the gossip
columnist who becomes our representative who may put his/her own life in jeopardy in
order to bring us the news from the front. The use of coda, which appears frequently in
the items of Slihut Katlanit, allow the columnist to shift the distance between reported


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