Cueing your own ‘revealing ah’

Can a politician cue their own ‘revealing ah’? Theresa May appeared to do this at Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday in the House.

The ‘Revealing ah’

The ‘revealing ah’ is a device I’ve documented before in which members of the House of Commons show support for the current speaking when he or she is revealing some interesting fact that could potentially embarrass the opposition. The shout of ‘aahh’ (with rise-fall intonation) by several members is normally completely insincere however since they are often pre-warned of the fact; the device is merely articulated to show support for the current speaker and is a peculiar part of the House of Commons discourse.

In this interesting example below, the current speaker, the Prime Minister Theresa May, seems to cue the ‘revealing ah’ with her own ‘ah’ in line 02 before the chamber dutifully replies in 03.

01 PM: what do we know about those
02     (.) ah they’re all under Labour control
03 Chamber: aahh
04 PM: so what he’s actually asking me ...

External link to clip


Prime Minister’s questions, 8th March 2017, @ approx.. 12:05PM

 

 

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