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Re: Pronouns and Social Status

From:Chris Wright <dhasenan@...>
Date:Thursday, February 26, 2009, 11:17
2009/2/26 Peter Bleackley <Peter.Bleackley@...>:
> Cutting away from the recent discussion of issues that people might find > contentious, I had an idea. > In a culture that had a very strong concept of social standing vs social > disgrace, there might be different pronouns for "person in good standing" vs > "person in disgrace". It would make political debates interesting - on the > campaign trail, a candidate might refer to his allies with the "good > standing" pronoun and his opponents with the "disgrace" pronoun. > In the UK, parliementary etiquette demands that MPs refer to each other as > "Honourable" and never (directly) accuse each other of lying. However, it's > still possible to say, "My Right Honourable Friend appears to be > misinformed," with an implication of deep contempt. > > Pete
It seems that politicians in such a culture might have trouble using the disgrace pronouns and maintaining their own right to the pronouns of good standing, depending on how civil people thought their politicians should be. Then you watch a show like Jerry Springer -- the host would probably use the good standing pronouns, but everyone would know them to be a farce.