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Richard Walker

Emotive Conjugation

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On a radio program in 1948 the philospher Bertrand Russell gave several humerous examples of "emotive conjugation", such as

I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool.

I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has gone back on his word.

You get the idea: it's like comjugating a verb but the speaker casts themself in a favourable light, you in a slightly less favourable one, and the others in an unfavourable light.

I offer you one for the current "situation" (as the PM describes ).

I am filling up earlier than usual, you have changed your pattern of demand, they are panic buying.

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