Constructing ordinariness in online journals: a corpus-based study in the Israeli context.

E. Weizman, A. Fetzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper shows how the notion of ordinariness is constructed in online journalism as an object of talk. The discussion draws on corpus-based methods, and focuses on data collected from the websites of three Israeli newspapers Ha’aretz (, Ynet ( and NRG ( Ordinariness is not an a-priori concept. Rather, it is constructed, or ‘being done’ in ethnomethodological terms, in and through discourse. The study analyses the attitudinal features associated with two lexical realisations of ordinariness – ‘the little citizen’ (ha’ezrax hakatan) and ‘the down-the-road person/citizen’ (haezrax/ha’adam min hashura), and with the metonymic naming ‘[Mrs] Riki Cohen [from Hadera]’, employed by the Minister of Finance Yair Lapid to construct the persona of a model citizen and highly debated in the media. The analysis shows that through discourse ordinary citizens are positioned as being more or less accountable for their social actions and as more or less accounted to by members of the (political and journalistic) elite. 
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23-48
JournalIsrael Studies in Language and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • ordinariness, accountability, positioning, corpus-based methods, collocations


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