"dog whistles"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Thu Apr 3 12:08:49 UTC 2014

On Apr 2, 2014, at 10:49 PM, Geoffrey Nunberg <nunberg at ISCHOOL.BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:

> ... I like the description the philosopher John Holbo at Crooked Timber has used, "impolite fictions," but that doesn't get at the semantic process here, which it seems to me to involve referring to X via one of its stereotypical properties (as, e.g, "inner city," "food stamp users") with the intention of evoking but not actually denoting it. (Or maybe I should make that, "referring to X by naming something to which X stereotypcially applies -- e.g., food stamp users are stereotypically black.) But what should it be called?

i'd call them "obliquities", or "deniable obliquities" for more detail.

but no name can serve as a definition.


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