Pragmatics of Impoliteness and Rudeness

Author: Nawal

Keywords: Pragmatics, politeness, impoliteness and rudeness.


There is a great deal of overlap between the two concepts of impoliteness and rudeness. Despite the fact that both refer to the offensive behavior, there is a main difference between the two terms. This paper is devoted to reveal that difference, which is a matter of intentionality, clarifying which one of them is intentional and which is not. Besides, it is intended to examine these two pragmatic concepts in a specific extract chosen carefully from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (1913) by applying Culpeper’s (2005) model of impoliteness especially his types of impoliteness ‘affective impoliteness, coercive impoliteness and entertaining impoliteness’, on one hand, and Segarra’s (2007) classification of rudeness types including: rudeness of word, rudeness of action and inaction rudeness, on the other hand. Therefore, the researchers will provide an adequate account of impoliteness and rudeness as spic-and-span linguistic phenomena highlighting their meanings, definitions and types, as well as the difference between them. Taking into account the fact that understanding politeness is indispensible to comprehend impoliteness, the researchers of this study will also explicate politeness with its prominent theory ‘Brown and Levinson’s (1987) face-saving theory’.