To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Courtrooms constituted public forums for structuring the speech economy, the social identity of individuals, and the social order as a whole, according to the criteria of gentility. The amorphousness and subjectivity of “noise,” “railing,” and “abuse” made them the ideal vehicles into which to import prevailing conceptions of impolite speech and persons. Prosecutions for these offenses helped clarify distinctions between polite and vulgar, civilized and unrefined, the empire and the wilderness. Threats and menaces constituted a type of insensible speech that was located just at the boundary between language and violence. The criminal law – the most public and formal institution for policing profane speech – became directed primarily against the non-elite; the elite, meanwhile, were generally subject only to private and extralegal sanctions for swearing. For them, their prosecutions became vehicles for demonstrating their facility with legal procedure, possession of genteel qualities such as sensibility, and relative lack of legal accountability for otherwise transgressive speech.
Chapter 5 is a key turning point in the narrative of the book. It analyses radical Catholic pamphlets printed in Paris and Lyon c. 1588–89, during a period in which the king was assassinated and the Catholic League controlled Paris and many other French towns. These pamphlets attack a now monstrous figure, the politique, for duplicity and for linguistic and moral flexibility. They confirm that the politique is shadowy and hard to define; this is part of the new politique problem of the late stages of the wars, which did much to create the historiographical legend of the Politique party. In these works, politique shifts from object of knowledge and knowing subject to object of opprobrium – but some qualities of the knowing, linguistically capable politique subject are retained. I argue that longer-term trends and influences are also present in source material as well as the immediate concerns of the crisis of c. 1589. This chapter also brings visual sources to bear on the politique problem, including two of the only known representations of the politique figure, found in Pierre de L’Estoile’s Drolleries collection.
This conclusion sums up the book and how the chapters interrelate. The importance of respectful language is discussed, as a human rights issue. Prejudice is talked about as a problem that we will all face, hence the need for compassion. We close by exploring how offensive language can be at the root of social problems, but on the other hand, how it can also unite people and foster understanding, tolerance, and equality.
This chapter investigates historical and modern case studies, and media and popular culture examples of discriminatory language related to race, ethnicity, and national origin. Following a discussion of overt racism (especially slavery, segregation, and the treatment of Native people in the United States), we discuss several case studies that reveal hidden racism against various groups of people. For example, we will look at the 1992 Presidential campaign when candidate Ross Perot referred to his audience of African Americans as “You People” in a speech, and the racial controversy surrounding celebrity chef Paula Deen’s use of racial slurs. We talk about the problems with the slogan All lives matter, the saying playing the race card, and why people found Donald Trump’s Twitter comment, “I love Hispanics!” to be offensive. This chapter also examines linguistic discrimination, otherwise known as linguicism. We look at expressions of xenophobia, nationalism, and prejudice against immigrants and minorities on the basis of the language they speak or their accent. We look at cases in the media, within the education system, and the workplace. For example, we discuss Mock Spanish, Engrish, anti-Muslim prejudice, and we look at cases where people have been ordered to Speak English or get out of America!
This introduction discusses the debate surrounding offensive language both past and present. We look at the way people talk about being offended, or not being offended, and issues of free speech and social justice.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.