Strategies of verbal dueling: How college students win a verbal battle

Academic Article


  • Verbal dueling is the artful exchange of rapid nonserious insults between two or more participants. Using ethnographic data collection techniques, conversations that transpired in the dining hall of a college dormitory were recorded to identify verbal dueling among students. Examples of verbal duel openings and closings are presented to illustrate how the openings and closings signal a change in footing. Examples of duel segments are provided, interspersed with an analysis and discussion of the strategies duelers and audience members use to influence other conversants, dictate the flow of the conversation, and win the verbal duel.
  • Authors

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    Author List

  • Schwebel DC
  • Start Page

  • 326
  • End Page

  • 343
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 3