While teasing can cause offence, participants on television variety or game shows are generally expected to tolerate it. In this paper, we examine comments posted on YouTube in response to reports of a leaked recording of a television host in Taiwan swearing at and insulting a guest who teased the host about his “inability to take a defeat”. In so doing, we examine both the perceived limits of teasing (i.e. what is considered allowable and what goes too far), and the perceived limits of taking offence in response to teasing (i.e. what ways of indicating offence are considered allowable and what goes too far). We conclude that instances where there are disputes about whether taking offence is warranted by the teasing in question provides us with a useful lens to examine the role ideological discourses play in (re-)constituting the underlying moral fabric of social interaction.
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