This is the letter I didn’t get around to sending to the Guardian Review section before Tuesday

See here (Giles Fraser spoils perfectly reasonable book review with weird rightwing digression at the beginning in which he misunderstands his native language and tries to make a point about relativism).

When his daughter says “It’s, like, raining” she is very strongly committed to it actually being raining. Nobody says “It’s, like, raining” when they’re making smalltalk about the weather. People do, however, say, “It’s, like, raining” when they’ve been asked to go outside into the rain. “like” here acts as a bit of Gricean sugaring to show (maxim of relevance) that your statement about the weather is in response to having been asked to wash the car or take out the rubbish or play nicely in the garden, and isn’t an attempt to change the subject, possibly to smalltalk about the weather.

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