This is another post in a series on the language of abuse, connected to an online catalogue which I hope will help others to identify and resist linguistic harm. In this post, I look at how disclaimers (a form of anti-performative discourse) can be used to minimise violence, to coercively control, to manipulate and to gaslight.
"Impersonalisation abounds in the language of bureaucracy, a form of the organisation of human activity constituted on the denial of responsibility, and governed by impersonal procedures which, once put in place, are wellnigh impermeable to human agency." Theo van Leeuwen, The Representation of Social Actors In my most recent blog post, I introduced a catalogue … Continue reading Relative Abstraction and Concreteness: The example of the non-apology
An organisation or culture that perpetuates abuse will question the motives of those who ask questions, make the discussion of problems the problem, condemn those who condemn, silence those who break silence, and descend upon those who dissent.Wade Mullen, in Something's Not Right: Decoding the Hidden Tactics of Abuse When you expose a problem you … Continue reading Introduction and Overview of The Subtle Language of Abuse: A Catalogue
Before using this catalogue, please refer to the introductory post explaining the catalogue. Some of that post has been reproduced below. This is a catalogue of some of the categories of meaning that subtler abusive language accomplishes and some of the forms that this language can take, depending on the context in which they are … Continue reading The Subtle Language of Abuse: A Catalogue