Chapter

Loaded Questions: An Introduction

Marjorie Garber

in Loaded Words

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242047
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823242085 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823242047.003.0001
Loaded Questions: An Introduction

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Few words are more loaded than loaded. The specific use of loaded in connection with words (loaded words, loaded questions) developed in the mid-twentieth century and may be considered, perhaps, as symptomatic of what are now called symptomatic readings—readings that call into question the good faith or the face value of a narrative. This book argues that all words are loaded, and that they are both overbrimming and biased, or weighted. It focuses on words that have, in various ways, become “loaded” in recent years—words such as madness, interruption, patriotism, academia, marriage, genius, and celebrity. William Shakespeare, the topic of several essays contained in the book, is perhaps the most culturally loaded name of our time. The book also considers topics ranging from advertising culture to film and television, Hollywood tourism and IQ tests, education and translation, while also addressing the work of theorists from Immanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud to Michel Foucault and Claude Lévi-Strauss. It explores both the meanings ascribed to such words and the surprising degree of passion—and occasional animus—that they evoke.

Keywords: loaded words; loaded questions; William Shakespeare; advertising; film; television; Immanuel Kant; Sigmund Freud; Michel Foucault; Claude Lévi-Strauss

Chapter.  2029 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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