Analyzing a Character's Communication Strategies in Seinfeld Using the Four Principles of Cooperation

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Andy Ackerman's Seinfeld and Steve Lookner's Seinfeld

Andy Ackerman's Seinfeld and Steve Lookner's Seinfeld are two of the most well-known films of the twentieth century. The viewer encounters George in The Wizard, the 15th episode of Season 9 of the series, who is determined to split his time between the Rosses family and his personal life (Kheirabadi & Aghagolzadeh, 2012).

George's Relational Styles in This Episode

This article focuses on George's relational styles in this episode and connects them to the four values of collaboration. George fails to observe the principle of quality of communication as he takes the call and lies to the Rosses that he will have to close on his house in Hamptons only to be seen on the streets by the same people he lied to (Kheirabadi & Aghagolzadeh, 2012). He, however, gives the information required to convince the Rosses that he was in the house and reveals the truth thus satisfying the principle of quality. George takes the Rosses to Hamptons where the truth finally comes out regarding the existence of his house in the area (McAllister, 2002). He is so careful to give the required response on the phone call avoiding interference from the ongoing conversation between him and Jerry about the race of Elaine's boyfriend (McAllister, 2002). His therefore in line with the principle of relation. Finally, it is clear that George violets manner in his communication strategy by not being straightforward concerning the reason for not attending the family event with the Rosses (McAllister, 2002).

Shared Communication Traits With George

One aspect of communication we share with George is lack of quality as sometimes we both have to lie to skip an event. Additionally, we both have the comic element in our conversation styles, and this feature helps in making the conversion lively.


In conclusion, it can be noted that the four principles of cooperation by Paul Grice are just necessary but not sufficient conditions for a productive conversation. A slight divergence from the principles makes the discussion livelier provided that the parties remain on topic as is evidenced by George's communication skills in the Wizard.


Kheirabadi, R., & Aghagolzadeh, F. (2012). Grice‟s Cooperative Maxims as Linguistic Criteria for News Selectivity. Theory And Practice In Language Studies, 2(3).

McAllister, M. (2002). Television News Plugola and the Last Episode of Seinfeld. Journal Of Communication, 52(2), 383-401.

January 05, 2023
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