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Loaded Words$
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Marjorie Garber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242047

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242047.001.0001

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Loaded Questions: An Introduction

Loaded Questions: An Introduction

(p.1) Loaded Questions: An Introduction
Loaded Words

Marjorie Garber

Fordham University Press

Few words are more loaded than loaded. The specific use of loaded in connection with words (loaded words, loaded questions) developed in the mid-twentieth century and may be considered, perhaps, as symptomatic of what are now called symptomatic readings—readings that call into question the good faith or the face value of a narrative. This book argues that all words are loaded, and that they are both overbrimming and biased, or weighted. It focuses on words that have, in various ways, become “loaded” in recent years—words such as madness, interruption, patriotism, academia, marriage, genius, and celebrity. William Shakespeare, the topic of several essays contained in the book, is perhaps the most culturally loaded name of our time. The book also considers topics ranging from advertising culture to film and television, Hollywood tourism and IQ tests, education and translation, while also addressing the work of theorists from Immanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud to Michel Foucault and Claude Lévi-Strauss. It explores both the meanings ascribed to such words and the surprising degree of passion—and occasional animus—that they evoke.

Keywords:   loaded words, loaded questions, William Shakespeare, advertising, film, television, Immanuel Kant, Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Claude Lévi-Strauss

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