Military Personnel in the Genre of Anecdote: On the Example of the Image of an Ensign

2023. № 6, 77-85

Olga P. Fesenko, Omsk State University of Railway Transport (Russia, Omsk),


The article presents the results of a linguistic analysis of the image of an ensign in the genre of modern Russian anecdote. The material for the research are 100 anecdotes extracted by continuous sampling for the query “anecdotes about an ensign” in the Yandex search engine. The article makes a brief digression into the history of the military rank “ensign”, since understanding its place in the armed forces of different eras allows us to explain the set of features that the hero demonstrates in the genre of anecdote. Using the example of studying the texts of anecdotes, the following are formulated: 1) the main characterological features of an ensign (on the one hand - cunning, lazy, stupid, preferring to fawn before his superiors, striving to command and unnecessarily follow the requirements of the statutes, on the other – possessing a healthy army humor, resourceful); 2) the circle of characters with whom he interacts (mainly military – privates, colonels, captains majors, recruits, etc.); 3) the range of topics discussed within the genre (problems of discipline, the expediency of individual orders of the command of the military leadership, the desire for ostentatious cleanliness and subordination, etc.) and 4) the specifics of the linguistic embodiment of the image of an ensign (the use of invectives, colloquial vocabulary and jargon). Even though in general the image possesses negative, the character is very attractive, thanks to the army ingenuity and humor, which allows to expose the problems of the military-professional sphere at the level of self-irony.

For citation:

Fesenko O. P. Military Personnel in the Genre of Anecdote: On the Exam ple of the Image of an Ensign. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2023. No. 6. Pp. 77–85. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170029357-1.