Pronouns and Social Status
|From:||Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, February 26, 2009, 11:00|
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.