Friends of Semantic Compositions

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« Obscenity Boston-style | Main | No English, no kids »

February 27, 2005

Comments

Rachel Shallit

High heels aren't shoes. High heels are cruel and unusual punishment. :)

Neal

What, you've never heard of ... the CRUEL shoes?

But seriously, I wonder if the fashion people really have this specialized meaning for 'shoes,' or if it's a common R-based inference among them, or if the conversation you recount was just a case of Gricean accommodation. That is, guest assumes hosts can see she's wearing shoes. Therefore, they would not be cooperative speakers if they asked this question with the ordinary meaning for 'shoe.' So guest accommodates that they must mean something different, and from there concludes that they mean high heels.

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