Brief thoughts on Austins ideas of writing

I think that Austin expands on what Wittgenstein was saying about the many different ways in which literature can be used. In Wittgenstein’s essay Philosophical Investigations, he says, “It is interesting to compare the multiplicity of the tools of language and the ways they are used” (772, 1st sent., last par.).

Austin does just that—specifically with the division of locution, illocution, and perlocution. I believe that Ernest Hemmingway would support the use of Locution. It is the style of writing that simply tells it how it is, how it actually happened with out the use of adjectives or other emotion provoking words. He had a great distrust in words and would have objected to “urged”, “persuaded”, or “got me to” (836, 1st col.).

I’m not sure what Austin meant by saying that locutionary acts embrace “doing many things at once to be complete” and that illocutionary and perlocutionary act can do the same thing (838, last sent.). I think that giving these sentences life could be deceiving. On the other hand, I’d be happy if the writer can somehow give a good enough description that no other interpretation is possible. Ahhh…the multiplicity of language.

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