April 18, 2009

Missed Opportunity

If I had known about the Twitter-length philosophy contest, I would've entered "All conversational implicatures are cancelable, and I am the Queen of Romania. I mean it literally." Only 99 characters, and not only is it an original argument I actually got it published (with some additions). Oh well.

[Actually I think the beginning of the published paper is "Are all conversational implicatures cancelable? Yes they are, and I am the queen of Romania. I mean it." Still Twitter-length, though. No online link, but I think the paper's been out long enough that I can probably put it back up now, when I get around to updating my page to for instance stop saying that I'm at Texas Tech.]

Posted by Matt Weiner at April 18, 2009 10:35 AM

Was Dorothy Parker the original source of "and I am the Queen of Romania (if memory serves, I think actually "and I am Marie of Romania") or was she quoting?

Posted by: Matt's mom at April 20, 2009 07:45 PM

I had thought of it as something of a ready-made phrase but maybe she originated it. I actually changed it from "Marie" so it wouldn't be a ready-made phrase or idiom, because those mess up implicatures -- in this case you actually do have to do the calculation that I'm obviously not the queen of Romania, and so I'm flouting a maxim of quality, and so I'm trying to say that "all conversational implicatures are cancelable" isn't true either.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at April 20, 2009 07:50 PM

Maybe of interest:

Posted by: Anders Weinstein at April 27, 2009 07:00 PM