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Posts Tagged ‘linguistics’

08.03.09.4

Markedness is a linguistic concept that developed out of the Prague School. A marked form is a non-basic or less natural form. An unmarked form is a basic, default form. For example, lion is the unmarked choice in English — it could refer to a male or female lion. But lioness is marked because it can only refer to females. The unmarked forms serve as general terms: e.g. brotherhood of man is sometimes used to refer to all people, both men and women, while sisterhood refers only to women. The form of a word that is conventionally chosen to be the lemma form is typically the form that is the least marked.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the wake of the Forbes Magazine publication of its list of the 100 most powerful women, story after story today noted Hillary’s position on the list (36 this year), compared that position with her spot last year (28), and noted the positions of other American women in and out of politics and government, e.g. Nancy Pelosi (35), Kathleen Sibelius (51), Janet Napolitano (56), Michelle Obama (40) and Oprah (41), Wait a minute! What kind of list IS this? Are they serious? Michelle Obama does not have a job for Pete’s sake! She’s more powerful than the Secretary of Homeland Security? I don’t think so!

It is possible that the toxic meme of Hillary in the Shadows has taken some kind of toll on Hillary’s position on this list, but even if it has, a linguistic analysis of recent headlines cannot help but betray the truth about the media’s perception of Hillary no matter how hard they slam her or what other toxic memes her opposition might frame. Let’s take a look at a few from the past few days.

US can benefit from India’s economic progress: Clinton

Clinton seeks to reassure on US-Colombia agreement

Clinton Puts Spotlight On Women’s Issues

Releasing Lockerbie bomber is wrong: Clinton

Clinton: Insurgents seek to intimidate Afghans

Clinton Says Defense Deal Would Not Create U.S. Bases in Colombia

I could go on, but that might be enough to get my message across when compared to these:
Obama talks to Bill Clinton about NKorean mission

Clinton (Bill, That Is) Meets Obama on N. Korea

I bring these up not to insert this blog into the completely inappropriate discussion of competition in this marriage. Personally, I hope they are making mad, hot, passionate love in Bermuda as I plug on pushing Hillary’s agenda and giving her the publicity she deserves. I post these to provide evidence, and the way we use language never lies. that Hillary has become the unmarked Clinton.

If you were to go back several years and see the name Clinton in a headline, assuredly it would be Bill the header referred to. Even as recently as last year, they were differentiated by her first name. He was Clinton, and she was Hillary. She does remain a woman whose identity is recognized by her first name alone. If you say Hillary – she IS THE Hillary.

But recently, very recently, in the past few weeks, the unmarked name means Hillary. Bill is the marked Clinton now. This is a very informative phenomenon. It betrays a recognition of her power even while the media might play into the marginalization meme. A marginalized, shrouded, weakened figure does not rise to the level of unmarked.

Hillary is now the default Clinton. When references are to Bill, his first name is used – that is marking.

Language never lies. Hillary is doing what we all, at this time last year, chanted, blogged, tweeted, and prayed: Rise, Hillary, Rise! She’s doing it. Hillary is rising. And Forbes be damned!

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