26 abr. 2006

My favorite cliché of cultural studies: it is no accident/coincidence that... it cannot be coincidental that... It cannot be a coincidence that... it is surely no coincidence that...

Useful for asserting a weak or unproven connection between two simultaneous phenomena. The rhetorical structure of the phrase commands assent, does the work of actually demonstrating that there is a connection.

Related: "at the very moment when.... "

This also creates a spurious sense of things being connected in time and thus causally correlated, when they may or may not be.

7 comentarios:

shanna dijo...

i have always hated that too! i mean, coincidence is the stuff of the 'verse. just because something looks as tho it might be the case doesn't make it the case.

Jonathan dijo...

Usually it's used to say, for example, that Language Poetry coincides with the Reagan administration. Utterly worthless.

shanna dijo...

unless "trees cause pollution" can be read as RR's own disjunctive poem. ;)

how 'bout the current political climate vs. pick-yer-experimental poetic, tho? our leader's daily manglehanding of language seems to be expanding the borders of "normal speech." (also makes me choke on my accent.)

but i would not set that hypothesis up with "it can be no coincidence that..."

Jonathan dijo...

"It can be no coincidence that flarf, a movement that abdicates its social responsibility in order to mirror the discourse of corporate globalization, gained momentum during the regime of the second George Bush, whose relation to the English language reflects a flarf-like disdain for propriety, while pushing the boundaries of the 'acceptable' toward his own neo-fascist modus operandi."

shanna dijo...

oops. well, i think the whole abdication of social responsibility argument against flarf is speeeeeeecious, for the record. (& forgive me for not realizing that was hiding there; i skim articles that make me want to run at them shrieking with a blue pencil.)

but i knows this: my speech is made to stupify itself with zesty purpose on the curb that is our president's behind wagging its sparsely haired hole. he makes me want to divorce my nativity.

Jonathan dijo...

i think it's speee-cious too. I was just demonstrating the dangers of this particular rhetorical device.

shanna dijo...

oh, i know you do. i just don't think i weighed in yet, aloud, and didn't want to be misconstrued as making any kind of statement along that particular line, 'sall.