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Illocutionary Discourse

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 22, 2006
Latest Update: May 22, 2006

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Index of Topics on Site Trying to Understand Others: Illocutionary Discourse in My Own Words
by Jayson di Pasquale

Message No. 322 on Learning Records on Yahoo. Jayson was a little intimidated, but he jumped right in to give his own explanation of illocutionary discourse and how it played a role for him in his family.

Here i go. Last christmas my little sister Lisa Marie came home from a trip around the world. She goes to University Of San Diego. She has the oppurtunity of a life time to go on a semster at sea in fall 2005. Keep in mind my parens did fund this trip. I am the older one in the family and to be honest i was kinda jealous. I am constantly stuck in the position of trying to keep up with my little sister. She is a dental student and i am trying to keep my head above water. I can honestly say she came home a different person. She got back from her trip around christmas time. One night she was going to show the family picutres she had taken over a meal of in and out. As the meal progressed i became kinda antsy looking at the pictures. Somehow the conversation turned into a full blown debate. She came home with an attitude in my eyes. When ever we asked her about the trip, she would say u guys wouldnt understand what is going on over in other countries.

She came home acting like she was a well known world traveler. At the time i thought she was throwing it in our faces. Over this conversation she told us she saw so many travesties taking place in far off places. She said to us(the family( u americans have no idea what is going on. She said her new life plan was to forgo any further collegiate endeavors and travel to far off palces and teach english for free. That for some reason really got on my nerves. I said our parents are putting all this money into ur eduacation and ur bent on saving people in far off lands. Over the next few hours we went back and forth on issues of world hunger, poverty and why ur typical american does not care about things that happen in remote areas. There was a point when my sister came to tears, she thought i was out to defame her.

Now looking back on this tirade. I wish i had a grasp on illuctionary discourse. I was so stuck on sticking to my guns that i hurt someone i love. My own flesh and blood. I choose to overlook the validty of her new perspective and claims. I wish i hadnt made these vicicous statements. Looking back i wasn't trying to rattle her cage just sticking up for an american mentality that may be flawed in some ways. She seemed to think it was a personal attack on her.

Next time i will try and take a step back and see what the person is talking about. We all are coming from different contexts and walks of life. I became so enraged that i took the wrong road of communication. I feel like i have been conditioned to be a selfish person and respond to others with harmful discourse. Illocutionary discourse is the type of communication i wish to strive for in the future. I must find kinder and gentler ways to disagree with those i will run into over the years.

We all have legitimate claims and must learn to agree to disagree. Jayson Di Pasquale



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