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The Messages We Send
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The Messages We Send: Social Signals and Storytelling

G. R. F. Ferrari


This is a book about ‘intimations’: social interactions that approach outright communication but do not quite reach it. The controlling metaphor is that of a communicative scale or switch, which goes from ‘off’ (no communication intended) to fully ‘on’ (outright communication). Intimations lie in between. Three intermediate positions are identified: quarter-on, half-on, and three-quarters-on. The metaphor is cashed by appeal to a Gricean model of communication: progression along the communicative scale is determined by the extent to which what comes across in the transmission is required to co ... More

Keywords: communication, intimation, impression-management, Grice, Goffman, fashion, lyric poetry, storytelling, irony

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198798422
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198798422.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

G. R. F. Ferrari, author
University of California, Berkeley, Melpomene Professor of Classics