Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Wed Apr 28 12:36:38 UTC 2010

Herb Stahlke wrote:
> On today's Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan has a piece on "tolerance"
> (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/04/tolerance.html)
> in which quotes, and seems to accept, the claim that the act of
> tolerating entails disapproval of what one tolerates.  I've heard this
> claim before, but I don't find this sense in either the OED Online or
> Merriam-Webster Online, although MW does allow that inference.  I
> wonder if the sense of entailed disapproval comes from the use of
> "tolerate" with negation.  "We won't tolerate such behavior" obviously
> implies disapproval of the behavior.

I'd assume that it's a pragmatic implicature, arising from the fact that a stronger claim
than toleration - acceptance, approval - isn't being made.

Jim Parish

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

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