LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS RESEARCH SEMINAR “Mock politeness: Perceptions vs practice”, Edge Hill University, UK


Thursday 27 October 2016, 12 noon, M35, Main Building, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk

Dr Charlotte Taylor
(University of Sussex)

In this talk I will discuss mock politeness (the kinds of behaviours that might get labelled as being ‘sarcastic’, ‘bitchy’, ‘passive aggressive’, ‘patronising’ etc.) and use the methods of corpus pragmatics to show the gap between perceptions and practice in two areas. The first area relates to gender and who performs mock politeness. Much previous research has reported that men perform sarcasm more frequently than women – but is this true?

The second area relates to the reasons that speakers give when explaining why they chose to perform mock politeness (i.e. be ‘sarcastic’, ‘condescending’ etc.) – do really they do it for the reasons they say? I start by examining overt discussion of doing mock politeness to access the perceptions regarding mock politeness, and then compare these to the actual performance of mock politeness in a corpus of forum interactions.

Through this analysis we can see the emerging gap between how people think they/others use language and what they actually do.

All welcome!

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