Pragmatics and Society 6 (1):1-21 (2015)

While compliments are usually intended to give credit and insults offense, the latter cannot simply be treated as opposites of the former. For example, a speaker can give credit to others as well as himself/herself. But while a speaker can offend others, it is less clear that a speaker can offend himself/herself. Understanding why this should be so provides us with a key insight into the nature of insults, namely, that it is predicated on the presumption that some dissimilarity exists between the speaker and the target of the insult. Various interesting implications follow from this insight, allowing us to understand why competitive ritualized exchanges of insults are more commonly attested than are analogous competitions involving compliments; better appreciate the ideological bases of politically correct speech; and adjudicate on the relative merits of various theories of politeness, in particular, on claims concerning the relationship between politeness and face
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1075/ps.6.1.01wee
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,079
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Insults, Free Speech and Offensiveness.David Archard - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2):127-141.
Unwarranted Questions and Conversation.Steffen Borge - 2007 - Journal of Pragmatics 39 (10):1689-1701.
Reference, Understanding, and Communication.Ray Buchanan - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1):1-16.
The Meaning of an Utterance.A. Denkel - 1983 - Journal of Semantics 2 (1):29-40.
Bragging.Mark Alfano & Brian Robinson - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):263-272.
Getting Told and Being Believed.Richard A. Moran - 2005 - Philosophers' Imprint 5:1-29.


Added to PP index

Total views
34 ( #335,027 of 2,506,121 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,984 of 2,506,121 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes