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The Language of Bribery Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945139.001.0001

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The camouflaged bribery events of businessmen Kenneth McDonald and Milton McGregor

The camouflaged bribery events of businessmen Kenneth McDonald and Milton McGregor

Chapter:
(p.92) [6] The camouflaged bribery events of businessmen Kenneth McDonald and Milton McGregor
Source:
The Language of Bribery Cases
Author(s):

Roger W. Shuy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945139.003.0006

Camouflaging occurs when the agents or cooperating witnesses try to hide their crime by making it appear legal when actually it is not. In McDonald’s case, even though the bribery speech event’s problem, negotiation, offer, and completion involved a different man, the cooperating witness used vagueness, ambiguity, and other tricks to camouflage his own bribery and shift it to McDonald, who was subsequently indicted. In McGregor’s case a lobbyist who had bribed a state senator for his vote to legalize electronic bingo in Alabama used camouflaged language to implicate McGregor as its instigator. In both cases, the relatively smaller language units of schemas, agendas, speech acts, and conversational strategies defused the purported smoking gun evidence celebrated by the prosecution.

Keywords:   speech event phases, transcript errors, schemas, agendas, power, speech acts, conversational strategies, smoking guns, lobbying

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