Impoliteness and taking offence in initial interactions

Haugh, Michael (2015) Impoliteness and taking offence in initial interactions. Journal of Pragmatics, 86 36-42. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2015.05.018

Author Haugh, Michael
Title Impoliteness and taking offence in initial interactions
Journal name Journal of Pragmatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-2166
Publication date 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.pragma.2015.05.018
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 86
Start page 36
End page 42
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Abstract The notion of "offence" lies at the core of current models of impoliteness. Yet is also well acknowledged that being impolite is not necessarily the same thing as being offended. In this paper, it is suggested that previous work on causing offence (Culpeper, 2011) can be usefully complemented by an analysis of taking offence. It is proposed that taking offence can be productively examined with respect to a model of (im)politeness as interactional social practice (Haugh, 2015). On this view, taking offence is analysed in part as a social action in and of itself, which means those persons registering or sanctioning offence in an interaction, whether explicitly or implicitly, can themselves be held morally accountable for this taking of offence. It is further suggested that taking offence as a form of social action can be productively theorised as a pragmatic act which is invariably situated with respect to particular activity types and interactional projects therein (Culpeper and Haugh, 2014). This position is illustrated by drawing from analyses of initial interactions amongst speakers of (American and Australian) English who are not previously acquainted. It is suggested that ways in which taking offence are accomplished both afforded and constrained by the demonstrable orientation on the part of participants to agreeability in the course of getting acquainted.
Keyword Activity type
American English
Australian English
Interactional pragmatics
Pragmatic act
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Mon, 23 May 2016, 14:55:09 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures