Publication details [#7641]

Marley, Carol. 2008. Truth values and truth-commitment in interdiscursive dating ads. Language and Literature 17 (2) : 137–154. 18 pp.
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Article in journal
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In this article, the author explores issues of commitment to truth in dating ads that use apparently impossible categorizations to project identities for ad writers and their desired others. The article begins with a brief overview of relevant aspects of Text World Theory (especially Gavins's work on dating ads), Sinclair's model of fictional worlds and Routledge and Chapman's account of truth-commitment in discourse, and proposes the need for a framework that allows for a partial suspension of commitment to truth. The paper then draws on the work of Ivani[c] and Weldon on identity in writing, in order to develop an account that offers a discourse- and genre-based discussion of how the intertextual metaphors in such ads are interpreted in relation to truth values. It is suggested the default stance is that of positive commitment to literal truth and that, when this is not possible, a fall-back mode of negative commitment to metaphorical truth is preferred over an interpretation in which questions of truth are truly suspended. Finally, the author considers a related category, of apparently negative dating ad identities, in order to suggest a functional motivation for the inclusion of elements that cannot be interpreted in truth-committed mode. (Carol Marley)