Departmental Bulletin Paper Linguistic Analysis of ‘Linsanity’ Effect in English and Chinese News Headlines

Takaya, Kentei

News headlines play important roles in informing readers about the content of news and attracting readers’ attention. Linguistically, news headlines are knownto have their own grammar (Simon-Vandenbergen, 1981), and vocabularies used in news headlines are characterized as being unusual and sensational (McCarthy &O’Dell, 2001; Swan, 2005). This research examines such linguistic creativity in the media’s use of wordplay in English and Chinese news headlines featuringJeremy Lin, a professional basketball player in the NBA who is best known with his nickname, Linsanity. Particularly, this research focuses on the media’s creativeuse of puns made from Jeremy Lin’s name and demonstrates how the English and Chinese languages allow for wordplay in news headlines featuring Jeremy Lin.

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