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Response to pintobean (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 09:50 PM

41. "Sworn", in the sense "publicly affirmed or confirmed."

Often with a tinge of hyperbole.

Rather different from "sworn-in enemies," which is what often happens in court of law. I don't think there's a chief magistrate able to swear in Russia as an enemy in the court of war, were such a thing to exist.

Usually "sworn enemies" has reciprocity in the definition, but it strikes me that results from the plural noun referring to two parties. I could imagine somebody felicitiously saying "Bertie and Jeeves are my sworn enemies, but honestly, I fail to see what I did to incur such animosity".

Saying "Roger and Bertie are sworn enemies" in isolation rather presupposes reciprocity in any decent parsing of the verb's semantics.


I'll put this down as flouting Grice. I'll leave aside intentionality. (http://www-01.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsTheCooperativePrinciple.htm)

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