Rudeness - Utility

Utility

Sometimes, people deliberately employ rude behaviors to achieve a goal. Early works in linguistic pragmatism interpreted rudeness as a defective mode of communication. However, most rudeness serves functional or instrumental purposes in communication, and skillfully choosing when and how to be rude may indicate a person's pragmatic competence.

Robin Lakoff (1989) addressed what she named 'strategic rudeness,' a style of communication used by prosecutors and therapists to force their interlocutors (a courtroom defendant or patient) to talk or react in a certain way. Rudeness in everyday speech "is frequently instrumental, and is not merely pragmatic failure" (Beebe, 1995, p. 154). Most rude speakers are attempting to accomplish one of two important instrumental functions: to vent negative feelings, and/or to get power (Beebe, 1995, p. 159).

Read more about this topic:  Rudeness

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Famous quotes containing the word utility:

    Moral sensibilities are nowadays at such cross-purposes that to one man a morality is proved by its utility, while to another its utility refutes it.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)