The how in ‘How to do things with Words’

It’s going to charge! (a warning)

It’s going to charge? (a question)

It’s going to charge!? (a protest)

These features of spoken language are not reproducible readily in written language. For example we have tried to convey the tone of voice cadence and emphasis of a protest by the use of an exclamation mark and a question mark (but this is very jejune).

It should be noted that when performative verbs exist we can use them not only in ‘that…’ or ‘to…’ formulas but also in stage directions (‘welcomes’), titles (warning!), and parentheses (this is almost as good a test of a performative as our normal forms).



Publisher and then web publisher

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