In 1992, I wrote The Language of Jokes: Analysing Verbal Play, a book that I look back on with fondness. This book, like many first publications, was the result of a dissertation, the subject of which, jokes, was meant to be a provocation and a way of highlighting my being different from my fellow postgraduate applied linguists who preferred to tackle aspects of language that were supposedly of more pith and moment. Jokes set out to amuse and thus, presumably, were not worthy of serious consideration, a premise that I wished wholeheartedly to challenge. Moreover, if Wittgenstein could claim that “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes”, then surely the subject was worth pursuing in its own right. Therefore, with the tacit support of one of the world’s greatest philosophers I went on to dedicate much time and effort both to the subject of jokes and, by extension, to humour in general. Today, more than two decades on, I cannot help but smile at my former naivety. Older and wiser, my attempt at creating a taxonomy in The Language of Jokes now makes me wince, especially in the face of so many of my betters who had also produced their own classifications – not to mention those who were still to do so. As far as taxonomies went, I was in the company of those devised by scholars such as Richard Alexander 1997; Walter Nash 1985; Walter Redfern 1984; Graeme Ritchie 2004 and many others. Recently, linguist Debra Aarons, also inspired by Wittgenstein’s well-known remark, produced a book in which she illustrates how “many crucial concepts of linguistics” are illustrated entirely through jokes (2012: 1) simultaneously demonstrating how, on a technical level, jokes exploit every possible option available in a language to humorous ends. However, in The Language of Jokes in the Digital Age, I will be dealing neither with taxonomies nor with detailed analyses of verbal humour. Neither will I attempt to insert a joke or a gag into a linguistic category or to 7explain its underlying mechanisms as I had done previously. Instead, my aim is to look at jokes on a wider, macroscopic level and examine their place in contemporary society.