Quote of the week
Yo Theresa May, where’s that money for Grenfell?Stormzy. 21st February 2018, The Brit Awards,
‘Yo’ is an interesting term of address. Among friends, it is a positive politeness device. It shows solidarity and anoints positive face. However, when addressed to Theresa May in this way, it is a threat to her negative face. The term is too informal. This illustrates how we tread a fine line between attending to positive face and threatening negative face.
‘that money’ – exophoric reference. This refers to money that has not been mentioned in the text but it is assumed that we know what Stormzy is talking about.
Presupposition is a linguistic feature. Every utterance asserts a proposition but at the same times presupposes certain things. For example, Stormzy’s quote presupposes:
- Theresa May exists
- Theresa May is someone who can facilitate money for Grenfell
- Grenfell exists
- Grenfell has been promised some money
- The money for Grenfell has not yet been paid