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Linguistics Colloquium | Metaphor and Humor in the TV Series Succession, April 12


The Linguistics Colloquium series presents Dr. David Bell discussing “Metaphor and Humor in the TV Series Succession” on Friday, April 12, from 12:55 to 1:50 p.m. in Gordy 310 and via Microsoft TEAMS.


Bell is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Ohio University.  


Abstract: This presentation explores the role of metaphor as a device for humor in HBO’s comedy/drama TV series Succession (2018-2023). Succession, which ran for 39 episodes over four seasons, tells the story of billionaire, Logan Roy, and the company he runs, Waystar RoyCo, a global media and entertainment conglomerate. As Logan ages, his three children vie for who will succeed him, jabbing constantly at each other with sharp humor - witty one-liners and snarky put-downs that make abundant use of both conventional and highly inventive metaphors. Metaphor conveys a likeness between the semantic vehicle or source domain and the semantic tenor or target domain thus allowing a better understanding of more abstract, unfamiliar, and less tangible ideas by analogy with the concrete, familiar, and tangible. Here, the focus is on the intentional use of metaphors as a mechanism to trigger humor though such devices as diaphoricity,  catachresis, wrong prioritization of features, and saturated attribution of features, etc.

Event Details

  • Hannah Nolte
  • Gabriella Feliciano

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How to Access the Colloquia via Teams

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Join the meeting via Teams; Meeting ID: 225 548 038 604; Passcode: K3WVyj

Or call in (audio only) +1 614-706-6572,,55770437#; United States, Columbus; Phone Conference ID: 557 704 37#

For more information, contact Dr. David Bell at belld@ohio.edu.

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