emotive meaning

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The emotive meaning of a term is the attitude or other emotional state that is conventionally taken to be expressed by a straightforward use of it. Thus a derogatory term conventionally expresses some kind of contempt or hostility to some class of people. Terms like ‘firm’, ‘stubborn’, and ‘pig-headed’ apply to more or less the same class of people for more or less the same reason, but convey different appreciations. Other terms like ‘super!’ or ‘wow!’ have nothing but an emotive function, but most terms with which we communicate approval or disapproval have descriptive aspects as well. See also paradiastole, thick terms.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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