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Abstract

Though humor can offer a retreat from the oppression of power structures, it remains embedded in the very order it strives to escape. The comedic website Engrish.com, which features examples of botched English in Asian countries, illustrates the ongoing struggle over control of the English language, a key form of capital in today’s information economy. By highlighting the mistakes of nonnative English speakers, the website constitutes yet another mechanism that reinforces native English speakers’ elite status in social and economic spheres, as well as their power to dictate what is and what is not “English.”

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