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Language Log

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 - 4:42 p.m.

What they say: “where’s Linguafranca?”
What I hear: “She should be out here, she’s being lazy/unsociable/a bad parent”

What they say: “How can I help?”
What I hear: “You really don’t have your shit together, this place is a mess”

What they say: “have you talked to your mother today?”
What I hear: “You should call your mother more, you’re a terrible daughter.”

And also every time someone wanders in to do laundry and I wasn’t expecting them I hate it. I just want to hide until they’re gone and I can resume normal activities. Yes, I have had more time to myself but I have spent most of it feeling ashamed like I should be doing something else. If the kids are in the backyard playing, one of them goes to sit with them and I feel like they think I should be out there with eyes on them at all times.

I don’t know how much of this is accurate interpretation of gricean implicatures, how much is me being really sensitive. But I think this is what demand avoidance looks like from the inside.

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