A Pragmatics analysis of Michael Scott and the Violation of Conversational Maxims in The Office Television Series

  • Muhammad Afzaal, Philip Habarman, Muhammad Imran, Najla AlFadda


The objective of this study is to investigate the failure to observe the Gricean maxims of conversation
(quantity, quality, relevance, and manner) in the American adaption of the television series The Office. This
study focuses on the character Michael Scott with the aim of discovering the ways in which he fails to
observe the conversational maxims. The investigation utilizes written and recorded data from the television
show’s manuscripts. The conversations Michael participates in are taken from fourteen randomly selected
episodes and analyzed in order to find out what role Grice’s maxims play. As it turns out, the maxim most
often violated by Michael is the maxim of quantity. Michael is one of the main characters of the show, and
contributes heavily to the quirky, weird, and often uncomfortable situations which occur throughout the