<i>If I may say so</i>
This contribution examines those contexts in which a contribution is assigned the status of <i>not such as is required</i> (Grice 1975). The first part analyses the theoretical construct of appropriateness in an integrated framework based on Habermas’s <i>theory of communicative action</i>, Gice’s <i>logic and conversation</i> and Sbisà’s approach to speech act theory. The second part operationalizes the theoretical construct as appropriateness conditions. The third part presents a data analysis in which the form and function of explicit and implicit references to appropriateness are analysed in the genre of a political interview. Particular attention is given to the questions of <i>where</i> the inappropriateness is manifest, <i>what</i> constitutive part of the contribution is assigned the status of being inappropriate, <i>who</i> refers to the inappropriateness and <i>how</i> the inappropriateness is realized linguistically.