[lit-ideas] The Importance of Being Only

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 16:04:07 EST

In a message dated 11/18/2010 4:00:41 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

People  have been spreading bogus numbers around, suggesting that the 
President's trip  to Asia cost $200 million per day.  Friedman corrects this  
misapprehension, adding the following actual yardsticks: the war in  
Afghanistan costs only about $190 million a day and Bill Clinton's trip to  
more than ten years ago, cost only "about $5.2 million a day."  

I think J. D. Atlas has written on this, from a Gricean perspective. He  
argues that 'only' adds only to the IMPLICATURE. Never to the explicature:

"She is a whore"
"She is only a whore".
"only" does not _add_ to the *semantics* -- only the pragmatics. 
Swimming-Pool Library, etc. 

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