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Words and Pragmatics

Or why what you think you’re saying means more than what you’re saying In colloquial usage, pragmatic means to be practical, to deal with things sensibly and realistically with all practical concerns taken into consideration. While I rather love this form of pragmatics, another pragmatics was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires

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Everything is Derivative ( and so is your face)

Edward Elmer Smith is a (contemporarily) mostly completely unknown science-fiction writer, his claim to fame being over 200 short-ish stories and novellas published in the iconic Sci-Fi magazines of the 1915s and 20s, namely IF Worlds of Science Fiction and Amazing Stories. Among them, a series of Skylark stories following the adventures of an idealistic

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Mansplaining is the death of discourse: Polarization and the loss of nuance  

Not a clickbait title or anything ™   The Overton window is the concept that there’s a widow of acceptable opinions/policies which are held by the mainstream of any given generation, but which moves on a generation-by-generation basis. Historically the window has some predictable patterns but no defined ones. It shifts both right and left, towards

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Your argument is a building, and that makes perfect sense  

Metaphor is the concept of a word or phrase which stands for an abstract concept. Sort of like using words as iconography – this one thing is like this other thing, not because they are the same but because it makes sense to understand the one in the context of the other.   Most of

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The polysemy of over   

Or, what is polysemy and how does it work? This blog is about the concept of polysemy and how surprisingly common it is in the simplest of words. And as an example, I’m going to use the unassuming word “over”.   So, Polysemy – say it aloud, it rolls very nicely when spoken.   What is it?

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Daddy? And the creepy crawlies that bear the name

Few words could be more dichotomous than “daddy”. Why is that? Often we create words and they go into a category to define a subject. Subject object categorization. This word defines this category of things. Think about when you see little kids playing. First a round thing is a ball then every round thing becomes a ball. Is

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Newspeak & Political Correctness: Considering Linguistic Relativity in the Context of Excluding Words from the Lexicon

Political correctness – either defined as a draconian attempt at thought and speech control, or an egalitarian movement to use language in ways which are inclusive, intersectional, and respectful, depending, of course, on which quarter of the political compass you’re sitting – is highly contentious. Now that I’ve killed my Flesch-Kincaid readability score in the

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”Saving Face” or the Grammatical Loopholes of “Polite” Language

The Ridiculous Application of Metonymy & Pragmatics   In every culture, there are standards for politeness, what is okay, what is not okay, and why. In many instances, “politeness culture” is good. In most cases, the term “politeness” is a colloquialism, a metonym, for “etiquette”. The difference is, of course, that politeness requires consideration of another’s

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