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Analysis of The Non-Observance of The Gricean Maxims in 'That '70s Show'.


Academic year: 2017

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ABSTRACT ……… iii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Background of the Study ………. 1

Statement of the Problem ………. 4

Purpose of the Study ………. 4

Method of Research ………. 4

Organization of the Thesis ………. 4







Topik yang saya pilih dalam skripsi saya adalah Analysis of the

Non-Observance of the Gricean Maxims in That ‘70s Show. Alasan saya memilih topik

ini adalah topik ini menarik untuk dibahas karena berhubungan erat dengan

kehidupan kita sehari-hari. Topik ini membahas tentang kesalahpahaman dalam

menangkap maksud yang mungkin saja terjadi dalam suatu percakapan antara

seorang atau lebih pembicara dan pendengar. Untuk membahas ini, saya

menggunakan teori H.P Grice, Teori Gricean Maxim. Grice membuat empat

‘aturan’ atau standar yang seharusnya dipatuhi oleh pembicara dan pendengar

agar suatu percakapan dapat berjalan dengan baik tanpa kesalahpahaman.

Menurutnya, pembicara harus bicara secukupnya, tidak lebih maupun kurang,

harus bicara sesuai topik, tidak boleh berbohong dan apa yang dikatakan tidak

bermakna ambigu.

Pada kenyataannya, teori ini sulit diterapkan. Grice mengungkapkan lima

tipe kegagalan dalam pemenuhan teori Maxim. Pertama, pembicara ingin

memberikan tambahan arti. Kedua, pembicara memang mempunyai maksud untuk

menipu pendengar. Selanjutnya adalah, pembicara memang tidak mempunyai

kemampuan yang baik dalam bahasa. Keempat, pembicara melanggar Maxim


Data yang saya pilih untuk pemenuhan skripsi ini adalah komedi seri TV berjudul

That ‘70s Show. Di dalam serial ini, banyak sekali pelanggaran Maxim, yang

kebanyakan memberikan efek lucu atau komedi. Pelanggaran yang terjadi banyak

dilakukan oleh lima tokoh utama, yang semuanya adalah remaja. Mereka sering

mengatakan kebohongan secara sengaja karena terkadang mereka ingin hidup

bebas dari orang tua. Alasan lain, mereka ingin terlihat ‘lebih’ dan mampu

melakukan apapun di depan teman-teman mereka. Yang menarik dalam film ini,

ada beberapa pelanggaran Maxim yang terjadi karena ada satu remaja yang berasal

dari kota lain, yang sedang belajar bahasa. Dia terkadang salah menangkap

maksud teman-temannya.

Saya berharap penjelasan di atas dapat memberikan gambaran pada para

pembaca. Penjelasan tentang latar belakang, teori dan pembahasan akan dibahas

lebih lengkap pada bab-bab selanjutnya. Saya berharap semoga skripsi saya ini

dapat memberikan manfaat kepada para pembaca.



V= Violation F= Flout I=Infringement Ou=Opting Out S=Suspending

No. Dialogues V F I Ou S Type of maxim that

is not observed

1. MICHAEL: I’m going to the prom. I’m taking Pam Marcy

JACKIE: I have a date, too.

MICHAEL: Who is it? What’s his name?

JACKIE :His name is not important. What’s important is he’s

better than you in every conceivable way.

ERIC: I believe that everyone’s political opinion is valid

and worth hearing.



4. RED: Kitty, take your hand off of that melon!

KITTY: Red, you haven’t gone fishing.

RED: Kitty, take your hand off of that melon! (angry).

9 Relation

5. DONNA: Do you want to play air hockey?

ERIC: Mmm…With you? Eh…Donna, I’m kind of tired and my wrist hurts and I think I’m coming down with the flu.

9 Quality

6. SHOPKEEPER: What do you want to buy?

MICHAEL: Hmm…Hi, I’m 25. I know I look young

but my dad asked me to come down here and pick up a tap for his keg. And he’s 43,so we’re both legal.No problem there.

9 Quality and Manner

7. RED : Not going to that disco,huh?

HYDE: No. Phony people listening to crappy music…It doesn’tlike my kind of music.

RED : You can’t dance. Can you? HYDE : I can dance.

RED: I don’t think so, pal. HYDE: I can dance. RED: Not one step.

HYDE: Yeah. You’re right. Not one step.


8. ERIC: Okay, let’s go.Everybody hop in the car and let’s go now.

MICHAEL: Where’s your mom?

ERIC: Shut up. Don’t you dare talk about my mother !

9 Relation

9. KITTY: Your father and I have noticed that you’ve been

acting very strange lately. Is there something you want to tell us?

RED: You are on dope, aren’t you?

ERIC: Mom, Dad. I’m not on drugs.

RED: Then, what the hell’s wrong with you?

ERIC: I accidentally…I wasupstairs…and I…Okay,you know what I’m on drugs.


9 Quantity


10. FEZ’S FOSTER FATHER: Son, when we took you in as an

exchange student, you become our responsibility. And we’re concerned about the gang you hang out with.

FEZ: They’re my friends.

FEZ’S FOSTER FATHER: That’s exactly what they want you

to think. Now, we’re not inflexible. Now’ you’ve brought the devil’s music into our home. (show KISS’ CD).


11. DONNA: Where’s Buddy?

ERIC: Buddy? Mmm…Buddy got busy

JACKIE: Yeah. I mean. I’m sure he has a lot to do. He is


FEZ: Yeah, and so obviously gay. (Eric is immediately panic).

9 Quality

12. KITTY: Wow Eric. This is the most beautiful tree I think we

have ever had. And it’s just so fresh. Where did you buy it?

ERIC: Mmm in a shop. Ooh..yeah Mom. It’s so fresh.

9 Quality

13. RED: Eric… before you explain the beer. Maybe you can tell me why there are two state troopers in the living room confiscating our Christmas tree?

ERIC: Well, Dad. That…funny story, and a true story. You’re gonna laugh…

RED: Get to the part!

ERIC: We cut the tree off the side of the interstate.

9 Quantity and


14. HYDE: Forman, man. It’s a tiny little scratch and Red’s never gonna see it.

ERIC: No. Red sees everything. He sees when I put cheap gas in the car.

MICHAEL: Listen, Forman, whatever happens, we’ll all take

the rap.

FEZ: Yeah. (Red comes in)


RED: How’d you scratch the car, Eric? FEZ: Have fun. Later.

MICHAEL: See you, Forman.

15. RED: Well…

ERIC: Well…Sir I was pulling out of this parking space. Creeping is more like it. I was creeping…

RED: You were screwing around, barked into a hydrant. ERIC: No!

MICHAEL: Maybe, he’s like religious or something

HYDE: Wasn’t Sully in prison for arson?

MICHAEL: Yeah. People who burn stuff believe in God too,


ERIC: All right. I’m starting to think maybe this isn’t Sully’s car.


MICHAEL: Then whose car is it? (There is police’s siren).

18. JACKIE: Hello…

MICHAEL: Jackie! Thank God you’re home. I was driving a

stolen car and I got arrested.

JACKIE: Michael, this is just like the book Prisoner of Love

where Cliff, the rugged sweet motorcycle mechanic was thrown into jail. And then his true love, Tasha, was forced to be a slave girl for this really rich, mean guy.

MICHAEL: Jackie, I’m not kidding around. I’m really in jail.

JACKIE: My God. Are you okay?

9 Relation

19. BOB: I can’t believe she went to that club. Married women do not abandon their families.

DONNA: Sure, they do, Dad. The whole point is women

don’t have to decline themselves by a man.

BOB: Donna, is this about clothes? Cause I can buy you clothes.

COACH: Give the kid an autograph, and then, no more


RED: Yeah. Thanks. Wanna make that out to Red Forman? ERIC: No, I don’t think so. It’s Eric Forman. Capital E-R-I-C


RED: Yeah, but see, his nickname is Red.

23. KITTY: Here, Bernice, I made you a plate of leftovers.

BERNICE: Oh, Red. My garbage disposal is broken.

KITTY: Just as long as you enjoy it.

BERNICE: Red, listen, I’ve got an idea. Let’s eat out next

Sunday. That way everybody can get something they like.





24. HYDE’S FATHER: So, fellas, school let out early?

MICHAEL: Yeah, we’re just…

ERIC: Kelso, shut up!

MICHAEL: Uh, I mean no. No, we’re old. We’re workers.

We’re all construction workers. Hey, fellas, did you see that brick today?

9 Quality

25. JACKIE: Steven…this is not just a last chance at roller disco.

It’s a last chance at love-our love. Now, will you or will you not skate with me?

HYDE : I would Jackie…but seeing you there in your cute

little skating outfit…with all your tassels and

sequins…I might be tempted to…put you down a flight of stairs.

9 Quality, Manner,


26. KITTY: Well, there’s the little patient. So, how’d it go at the doctor’s?

RED: Well, let me put it this way. If a horse is in good shape, they say it’s healthy as me.

KITTY: Uh-huh. And did they say something about your

pants being on fire, liar, liar? RED: No.

KITTY: I just got off the phone with Dr. Leggett. He said

your blood pressure is through the roof.

9 Quality and


27. JACKIE: Hyde, what happened?

HYDE: What? Nothing. Just somebody-and then a guy said ‘bitch’, and there’s nothing.

JACKIE: Oh, my God. He called me a bitch? And you hit

him. And that’s what happened, isn’t it? HYDE: No.

28. KITTY: Oh. Oh, and this blanket, it needs a nice Christmas


HYDE: Oh, no ,no ,no ,no ,no ! That’s Bud’s Christmas tool. Very sentimental. If anybody touches it, he’ll just go nuts.

9 Quality

29. DONNA: Eric, you got to hear this.

ERIC: We were just studying, Donna. That’s all.

DONNA: Eric, I’m telling a story here. Michael was running


through the cafeteria and there were these mashed potatoes on the floor…

ERIC: She’s just my lab partner! So, mellow out! God!

30. MICHAEL: Fine. Fine. I’ll pay for the stupid dinner. Now

just give me your stupid keys…so I can get my money out of your stupid car. Stupid. (a few minutes later)

DONNA: Um, Eric? Did Kelso leave his money at home?

Cause he just drove away in the Vista Cruiser. ERIC: He ditched us!

FEZ: I’m sure he’s right outside. I’ll go get him. Don’t worry. I’ll go and get the money and come back. You can trust me. (a few minutes later).

DONNA: He’s not coming back! And we trusted him.

JACKIE: Foreigners lie. You know what? I’m just gonna call

my dad, and he’ll come pay for our dinner. ERIC: Okay, Jackie, if you don’t come back…

JACKIE: Eric, please. I’m not immature like these idiots.

(a few minutes later).

DONNA: She is immature like those idiots.

9 Quality

31. ERIC: So, looks like I’m gonna spend the weekend with Michael-tutoring him in math.

RED: Are you good in Math? ERIC: Yes, sir.

RED: What’s the square root of ‘x’?

ERIC: ‘x’ is a variable, so until you define its

parameters…the only possible answer is a variable-or ‘x’





if you prefer. KITTY: Is that right?

RED: Sounds good. Will Michael’s parents be home?

ERIC: Yes. 9 Quality

32. RED : Well, you know Eric worked with him too. Eric, tell him about Earl.

LABOR BOARD: Actually, I’d be more interested in hearing

what Eric thinks about working with you. Eric?

ERIC: No. No, no, no, no. I’m here just to answer questions about Earl-old, dumb Earl.

LABOR BOARD: No, no, no, no. Eric, just a few more

questions. Is your father ever unnecessarily angry? ERIC: Unnecessarily angry? Well, you know, what does

‘unnecessarily’ mean, really? I mean my sister likes to put salt on roast beef…but I think it’s unnecessary. I mean, why cover up the flavor of such a delicious meat. RED: Just answer the question, dumb- ass !





33. RED AND ERIC: Happy Birthday!

KITTY: Oh, you remembered?

RED: Well, of course we remembered, honey. We just figured that we’d wait till those were only 15 minutes left

in the day…and you were good and mad…and then we’d sneak up here and surprise the hell out of you.

ERIC: Well, Mom. Open this first. It’s from me.

KITTY: Oh, a map of Wisconsin. Well, thank you, honey.

ERIC: And, Mom, I got you these balloons too.


KITTY: ‘Knock out the knock-knocks at Schiffy’s. Gas- N Go.’

RED: Well, Kitty, there’s more!

KITTY: A funnel. Well, um, either these gifts are really

thoughtful…or you brought a bunch of crap at the gas station.

34. JACKIE: What’s that?

MICHAEL: Oh, it’s just this little…crib-like thing I made for



MICHAEL:Yeah, I named him. I don’t know, this egg is, like,

bringing out…all the parental stuff in me.

JACKIE: Michael, what happened to the pencil mark I made

on the bottom?

MICHAEL: Oh. Must have come off when I was giving him

his gentle bath.

9 Quality

35. FEZ: I am with Donna. Yes? Remember? Donna?

CAROLINE: Well, you’d be better be, because if you’re not

that means you still love me. And if you still love me but you’re not with me, I’ll make you pay.

FEZ: That would be scary if I was lying aboutDonna and me.(weak chuckles).

9 Quality

36. DONNA: Eric, this is yourpopcorn and soda.

ERIC: Hey, how are you? I didn’t do anything. You look


DONNA: Did you read my journal?

ERIC: No. Oh! I was just, uh. I was, uh, going through your underwear drawer. Yeah I know. That is why I look guilty.




1.1 Background of the Study

As social beings, we cannot be separated from social interactions. There

are a lot of ways of interacting. One of them is having conversations with other

people. The medium that is used in a conversation is language. Language can be

divided into verbal and non-verbal language. An interaction using non-verbal

language is done by means of facial expressions, gestures or body movements. On

the other hand, in using verbal language, the speaker expresses his feelings,

emotions or opinions through words. Language obviously plays an important role

in expressing one’s feelings, emotions, or opinions.

In interacting, both verbally and non-verbally, misunderstandings are

likely to occur, even though the speaker and the hearer are using the same

language. It happens because in conveying the point of his or her utterance in a

conversation, the speaker does not always speak literally. On the contrary, he may

say something implicitly. There is an additional meaning or a meaning completely

different from the literal meaning of the sentence. For instance, a speaker who is

bored and does not like to continue a conversation further may not say it directly,


A conversation containing an implied meaning will be successful if the

hearer can get the speaker’s intention. Unfortunately, however, not all hearers

can immediately catch that meaning. It depends on their intellect and on their

condition at that time, such as when they are nervous or in a panic. This

situation will lead to misunderstandings. This misunderstanding will surely

give effects. The effects can be comical or serious, depending on the context

of the conversation. In That ‘70s Show, the source of the data of my thesis, the

misunderstandings mostly result in comical effects. However, I do not only

focus my discussion on conversations related to comical effects, but also all

misunderstandings as a result of the non-observance of the Gricean Maxims.

These misunderstandings are interesting to discuss, so I choose Analysis of the

Non-Observance of the Gricean Maxims in That ‘70s Show as the topic of my


The implied meaning and the misunderstanding belong to Pragmatics,

a study about speaker meaning. The theory that I use in approaching the

problems in That ‘70s Show is the Gricean Maxim. The Gricean Maxim is the

theory introduced by Paul Grice and is used to analyze conversation.

According to Grice, there are four Conversational Maxims: a speaker must not

say more or less than is required, a speaker has to tell the truth, a speaker has

to give a relevant answer and a speaker has to be brief and clear in giving an

answer. In making a conversation a speaker may or may not conform to these



not necessarily have an intention to mislead the hearer. In addition, a speaker

may not observe a maxim because he is drunk, too nervous or excited or

because he is a child or a foreign language learner that has no linguistic

competence. Another reason is the speaker’s profession or culture’s belief that

makes the speaker unable to answer explicitly. These will be more clearly

explained when the theory is applied in the data.

I take the data of my thesis from That ‘70s Show TV series. I choose

this TV series because it has a lot of misunderstandings that happen in the

interactions between the characters, and the misunderstandings are caused by

the speaker’s non-observance of the Gricean Maxims. Some of the

misunderstandings give comical effects. Moreover, some of the characters are

angry or confused because of the non-observance.

That '70s Show was made in 2005. It tells about the life of some

teenagers and the setting of time is 1976. I choose this TV series because it has

a lot of misunderstanding that occur because of the non-observance of the

Grican Maxim. The non-observance is done by the main characters, the

teenagers. They do the non-observance not only to their parents but also to

their friends. As teenagers, they do not want to live with a lot of rules so that

they do not obey their parents. Moreover, they want their friends to know that

they are capable of doing everything. These reasons make the teenagers do the

non-observance such as not saying the truth and giving much information. The

non-observance gives comical effect that makes this TV series is interesting to


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There are three problems that I am going to analyze:

1. Which utterances in That ‘70s Show show the fact that the speaker fails to

observe the Gricean Maxims?

2. Which Gricean Maxims does the speaker fail to observe?

3. Why does the speaker fail to observe the Gricean Maxims?

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of doing the analysis is

1. to show the utterances in That’ 70s Show that contain failure in observing

the Gricean maxims.

2. to explain which maxims the speaker fails to observe.

3. to explain why the speaker fails to observe the maxims.

1.4 Method of Research

In doing this research, first I watch the TV comedy series, That '70s

Show. Then I collect the conversations which contain comical scenes and I

choose the conversations in which the speaker fails to observe the Gricean

maxims. After that, I analyze and classify them based on the types of the

non-observance and the types of maxim that they fail to observe. Then I analyze

the data. Finally, I write the conclusion.

1.5 Organization of the Thesis


Study, Method of Research, and Organization of the Thesis. Chapter Two

contains the theories that I use, Pragmatics and Conversational Implicature of

the Gricean Maxims. The discussion and the interpretation of my data are

written in Chapter Three. In the last chapter, Chapter Four, I put forward my

personal comments and opinion on my findings. The thesis finally ends with




Thomas, Jenny. (1995). Meaning in Interaction: an Introduction to Pragmatics.

London and New York: Longman Group Limited.

Yule, George. (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Primary Source


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