The Genre of Invective in Public Discourse

Author’s name:

Marina A. Kalinina


The relevance of this research project lies in the increasing interest of the general public and professional linguists towards public discourse and the specific type of the communicative personality whose verbal behavior shakes up the normative framework and leads to violations of linguistic security. Such a speaker prefers non-normative linguistic means with the strong-est communicative and stylistic charge, because they support her desire for self-expression and attract the attention of others; needless to say they often include invective. The rejection of normative expressive means is also due to the deliberate or spontaneous intention of the speaker to humiliate, ridicule, or offend the interlocutor and assert herself, which is much eas-ier to do with invective vocabulary. Looking at the functions of the invective, its paralinguis-tic and linguistic features, and the intentions of the speakers, the article describes the invective genres of hating and flaming. Hating is viewed as a deliberate communicative action aimed at discrediting a person or at her social stigmatization. Flaming is characterized by spontaneity and is due to the speaker’s communicative emotionality, asociality, and propensity towards conflicts. The author determines risks of using verbal abuse, invective genres, and pejoratives in public discourse, emphasizing the importance of regulating these through relevant legisla-tion, since, as experience shows, invective may become a form of expressing linguistic ex-tremism and lead to physical violence. The author discusses the immediate need of introduc-ing mandatory moderation (both automated and manual) of chats on social networks, forums, public websites, messengers, TV shows and other media in order to prevent negative conse-quences of invectizing public discourse and to ensure linguistic security for communication participants.

DOI: 10.47388/2072-3490/lunn2020-si-153-163
Downloads 172
Key words invective; verbal abuse; linguistic extremism; linguistic security; hating; flaming; discrediting; social stigmatization.


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