Interrogating the something-or-other

Following the Little Professor’s suggestion that there are some words (eg, “subversive”, “interrogate”) that really have overstayed their academic welcome, John Holbo interrogates Shakespeare in the style of LA Confidential.

And I do like this definition of “subversive” from one of LP’s commenters: “not as hopelessly retrograde as you might think”.

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3 thoughts on “Interrogating the something-or-other”

  1. Another is “deconstruct”, which a number of people seem to think is an exact synonym for “analyse”. Or perhaps these people are merely prudish.

  2. I think part of the problem is often that people using terms don’t really know what they mean. (‘Deconstruction’ being a case in point. It’s not just ‘analyse something in great detail’, as Simon says.) OTOH, ‘discourse’ always seemed to be rather vague and open-ended in meaning (to me anyway). There are very few words I’d throw away altogether; but some have just got so over worked (and often devalued) that they need a good rest.

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