"dog whistles"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Apr 4 13:44:27 UTC 2014

At 4/4/2014 07:42 AM, Amy West wrote:
>On 4/4/14, 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor 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?
>It seems like a "stereotyped metonymy" to me, where a stereotyped
>quality is used to stand for the whole stereotype. Or a "false metonymy"
>to be more explicit.
>---Amy West

Isn't metonymy already a stereotype, by choosing one characteristic
to be a "type" (as they used to say) of the whole?  Some adjective
needs to be added that expresses the "impolite" (derogatory, hostile)
aspect of the "dog whistles".


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