Pragmatics

Interesting subtexts here.

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By Jamie Thunder

“When someone says ‘it’s cold,’ you might respond by closing the window,” I tell my students. “But nothing in those words means ‘close the window’ – there’s another layer of meaning introduced by the context.”

I’ve been trying this out on my girlfriend.

“It’s cold,” I say one evening. But although there is a draught, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that there is something small and dense in the pit of my stomach that makes me wonder whether somewhere along the line we made a terrible mistake.

She looks at me, stands up, and closes the window.

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