Philosophy Word of the Day – Performative Utterance

A linguistic expression used to do something. When spoken by someone in an appropriate position: “I’m sorry.” makes an apology; “Play ball!” begins a baseball game; and “I now declare you husband and wife.” performs a marriage. Thus, performatives are important instances of what Austin later called illocutionary acts.

(Philosophical Dictionary)

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7 thoughts on “Philosophy Word of the Day – Performative Utterance

    • Hi Adam,
      Yes, I’ll be glad to add your site to my blogroll/website list. In fact, since one ongoing topic of my blog is writing, I would welcome a guest post from you on something related to words, if you’re interested — maybe a piece explaining why you love words. Or something else, if you have another idea.
      Thanks, Adam.

      • MY PIECE / MY BLOG

        How fascinating they are the journeys many words have taken from their original definitions with
        grape: originally a hook for gathering fruit and later a cluster of fruit growing together: friend: a lover later a relative or kinsman; sky meaning a cloud; frantic: insane; corset: a little body and mortgage: a death pledge. In Tudor times drink actually meant to smoke tobacco; walk; to roll, toss, move about and later to press cloth and steward: a keeper of the pigs and later, as wealth expanded, of herds of cattle and land.

  1. Dear Sir

    Please forgive me emailing you in such a seemingly cold fashion. You seem to share my love of language and I wondered if you might like a mutual link to my English word website:

    with best wishes

    Adam Jacot de Boinod

    (author of The Meaning of Tingo)

    • Hi Adam,
      Thanks for your comment and link. Yes, I too am a lover of language. I like the idea behind your blog. Words are some of the most interesting things around.
      Best Regards!

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