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Mister so-called X

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Abstract

In this paper, I explore the usage range of the pattern <i>Mister so-called X</i> on the basis of internet data. In a first step I argue that framing adjectives such as <i>so-called</i>, <i>alleged</i>, and purported involve interpersonal rather than representational meaning and structure. Secondly, of the different framing adjectives, so-called is shown to be the one which has come to be used most often with dissociative affect, a development which is co-enabled by its high frequency and its lack of very strong register preferences and collocates. Finally, in a set of 88 observations of the pattern <i>Mister so-called X</i> collected through WebCorp [www.webcorp.org.uk], I distinguish different usage patterns and relate these in terms of subjectification.

References

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