ozarque (ozarque) wrote,
ozarque
ozarque

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Writing nonfiction; linguistics; verbal self-defense; request for help...

I'm getting ready to ask the websmith at my verbal self-defense website [http://www.adrr.com/aa ] to post the text below as part of the content of that site; I'm also working on it as part of the content of the second edition of The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. Before I take either of those steps, however, I'd be grateful for any comments and critiques that you might be willing to provide -- because, to the extent that it's possible, I'd like to get this right.

There are three things that I'd be pleased if you'd keep in mind when critiquing the material:

**That every example of an English Verbal Attack Pattern (VAP) is a hostile utterance, but not every hostile utterance is an example of an English VAP. [If that's not clear, there's an explanation of the distinction at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/32994.html .]

**That my guess has always been that there are roughly twenty VAPs in the set.

**That when words and parts of words in the examples appear in all capital letters it means that those sequences would be given extra emphatic stress when spoken aloud.

Here's the text in full...


English Verbal Attack Patterns (VAPs) -- Example Master List

Over the years (and in a number of books), I've published lists of the proposed set of English Verbal Attack Patterns -- "VAPs" for short -- and typical examples of their use in spoken language. I think it's time I compiled them into a "master" list, as shown below; if I've left any off the list, or if you have additional ones to propose, I'd be grateful for the information.

[Please remember that these are examples of how each pattern may be used in speech, not the actual patterns themselves. The patterns would have to be written in formal notation, with variables.]


1. "If you REALLY loved me, YOU wouldn't waste MONEY the way you do!"

2. "If you REALLY cared about your family, YOU wouldn't WANT to smoke!"

3. "People who REALLY love their families don't SMOKE!"

4.a. "EVen JOHN could pass that course!"
4.b. "EVen JOHN could pass THAT course!"

5. "EVEN if you DO lose your job, WE won't be mad at you!"

6. "WHY do you ALways eat SO MUCH JUNK food?"

7. "DON'T you even CARE about global WARMING?"

8. "You could at LEAST call your GRANDmother!"

9. "EVERYone underSTANDS why you never get your work done on TIME, dear."

10. "YOU'RE not the ONly person who has PROBlems, you know!"

11. "You KNOW I'd never tell you what to DO, dear, but if you take that job you'll be MISerable!"

12.a. "SOME bosses would FIRE a person who's always late!"
12.b. "SOME bosses would FIRE a person who's ALways LATE!"

13.a. "You're ONly DOing that to get atTENtion, you know!"
13.b. "YOU'RE only DOing that to get atTENtion, you know!"

14. "YOU'RE only SAYing that to make me look FOOLish!"

15. "HOW could you SAY something SO CRUEL?"

16.a. "Don't tell ME you didn't know it was Friday!"
16.b. "DON'T tell ME you didn't know it was Friday!"

17. "I'm ONLY DOing this because I LOVE you!"
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