This study investigates the interwoven relationship between the metadiscourse of (im)politeness, language ideologies, and identity. It examines YouTube comments on a video recording of a controversial incident in Taiwan in which a Taiwanese American, J, insulted a bus driver in English, a marked language choice in the local context. It was found that J's abusive language and his language choice being English were the top sources of offense as expressed in the comments, and four main strands of language ideologies are identified accordingly. We see the taking of offense in the critical comments as social actions in two senses: each comment is an individual pragmatic act sanctioning a perceived moral transgression, while, collectively, the comments serve as a discursive space where language ideologies are shaped, contested, and reinforced. We further explore how various identities, such as "foreigner", "ABC", and "Taiwanese"are discursively constructed in the process of impoliteness assessment and how the perceived attack on the driver's social identity face is motivated by J's perceived identities and presumed language proficiency. We argue that the shift in focus to the evaluativity of (im)politeness makes it possible to bring (im)politeness research and sociolinguistics closer to each other.
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