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'Thou shalt not be a tall poppy': Describing an Australian communicative (and behavioral) norm


Peeters, BL, 'Thou shalt not be a tall poppy': Describing an Australian communicative (and behavioral) norm, Intercultural Pragmatics, 1, (1) pp. 71-92. ISSN 1612-295X (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1515/iprg.2004.008


In Australian English, tall poppies are usually individuals who, on the basis i of unwarranted self-adulation, itself a consequence of success, amassed fortune or fame, have become targets for criticism; or, less frequently, in! dividuals who, overcome by success, amassed fortune or fame, and on the mistaken assumption that they are above the law, have engaged in unlawful behaviour, only to find that, eventually, the law catches up with them as well. They become the victims of a widespread tendency, known as the tall poppy syndrome, to scrutinize high achievers and cut down the tall poppies among them. This paper looks at tall poppies and the tall poppy syndrome in Australian discourse (with special reference to sports and federal politics), and, using Wierzbicka's natural semantic metalanguage, explicates the corresponding communicative (and, more generally, behavioral) norm "Thou shalt not be a tall poppy." In line with the general theme of this journal, the paper also provides some explicit intercultural comparisons. Furthermore, it includes a few more general remarks, in which I look at the notion of "communicative norm" and at the place of intercultural pragmatics within the broader field of intercultural communication. © Walter de Gruyter.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Language studies
Research Field:English language
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Peeters, BL (Dr Bert Peeters)
ID Code:30968
Year Published:2004
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2005-05-27

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