Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat Sep 3 17:56:48 UTC 2011

On Sat, Sep 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> As ideology is eternal, I must now suppress the temporal form in which I
>> have presented the functioning of ideology, and say: ideology has
>> always-already interpellated individuals as subjects, which amounts to
>> making it clear that individuals are always-already interpellated by
>> ideology as subjects, which necessarily leads us to one last
>> proposition: individuals are always-already subjects.
> QED.
> Ben's suggestion seems likely.  "Interpellate" has fewer syllables that
> "address peremptorily," which proves that in pomo circles, obscurity
> always-already trumps prolixity.
> Many might be interested to know just why Althusser assigned this radically
> new meaning to "interpellate" in the first place. But I'm not one of them.

Keep in mind this in translation from French -- Althusser used the
verb _interpeller_ (l'idéologie interpelle les individus en sujets").
A less obscure translation into English would use "hail" or perhaps
"summon", but this is a field of discourse where obscurantism is

> At any rate, the new sense is not  in OED.



Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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