Dictionary definitions can encourage in us a sense of words as signs representing fuller meanings or content that are in some sense ‘inside’ or ‘underneath’ them. But when we analyse meaning, we are usually making only lateral moves, not ‘excavating’ anything. These are in reality interpretations that exist ‘on the same level’ as what is interpreted. ‘Every interpretation,’ Wittgenstein writes, ‘hangs in the air together with what it interprets, and cannot give it any support.’
Speech Acts explains much more to me than other paradigms of language. I wish there was more conversations between rhetoric and linguistics on the pragmatics front than there is right now. It’s one thing to say something. It’s quite another for a person to do (or not do) something because of what you’ve said By … Continue reading The ethics of speech acts — Aeon
Interesting piece in Aeon Magazine summarizing the conversations about the primacy of gestures in the evolution of our linguistic capacities, the essential human characteristic. If language began with gestures around a campfire and secret signals on hunts, why did speech come to dominate communication?By Kensy CooperriderRead at AeonHand to mouth
To think that writing comes from genius or inspiration is to misrepresent writing and do a disservice to writing and dissuade writers from writing. I see the way that the “writer-as-genius” metaphor stops students at university from putting in the time and effort needed to accomplish writing.