The personal blog of an applied linguist, writer, & educator

Tag: Pragmatics

  • Tag Questions — Catty Conversation

    Tag Questions — Catty Conversation

    As a child, a friend chided me once for ending every sentence with “don’t you think?” It was a habit I had picked up from my mother, who often spoke that way. Today, I recoil at the overuse of tag questions. By tag questions, I refer to those contracted verb phrases that contrast with the…

  • The Pragmatics of Greeting Cards

    The Pragmatics of Greeting Cards

    I’m writing this around the holidays, so I wanted to examine a mainstay of the holiday season from a linguistic perspective. The greeting card occupies a peculiar niche in the social fabric of modern society. Why do we buy cards with sentiments written by strangers to no one in particular in order to express personal…