This chapter investigates the English word nice as a cultural keyword, around which sociality discourses revolve. Focusing on its semantic scope in Australian discourse, the keyword nice has an important story to tell about socially accepted and approved ways of thinking, communicating and behaving. Oftentimes nice has been trivialised, or even ridiculed as an “empty word”, but closer scrutiny reveals that nice has all the characteristics of a cultural keyword. It is frequent and foundational in Australian discourse, and it reflects cultural logics, values and orientations. Also, as is common with cultural keywords, nice lacks translational equivalents, even in closely related languages. A comparison with French gentil demonstrates how nice is distinctive in the way it organises and maintains specific discursive orders.
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Cited by 4 other publications
Farese, Gian Marco
2020. The Ethnopragmatics of English Understatement and Italian Exaggeration: Clashing Cultural Scripts for the Expression of Personal Opinions. In Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication, ► pp. 59 ff.
2020. Gezellig: A Dutch cultural keyword unpacked. In Meaning, Life and Culture: In conversation with Anna Wierzbicka, ► pp. 61 ff.
Trnavac, Radoslava & Maite Taboada
2020. Positive Appraisal in Online News Comments. In Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication, ► pp. 185 ff.
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