The Russell conjugation

I didn’t know that the technical term for “another one of those irregular verbs” was “emotive conjugations.” Wikipedia has the story:

In rhetoric, emotive or emotional conjugation mimics the form of a grammatical conjugation of an irregular verb to illustrate humans’ tendency to describe their own behavior more charitably than the behavior of others.[1] It is often called the Russell conjugation in honour of philosopher Bertrand Russell who expounded the concept in 1948 on the BBC Radio programme The Brains Trust,[2] citing the examples:[3]

I am firm, You are obstinate, He is a pig-headed fool.

I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over nothing.

I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has gone back on his word.

Used seriously, such loaded language[3] can lend false support to an argument by obscuring a fallacy of meaning. The inherent incongruity also lends itself to humor,[4] as employed by Bernard Woolley in theBBC television series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister:[5][6]

It’s one of those irregular verbs, isn’t it?
I have an independent mind, You are eccentric, He is round the twist.[6]

That’s another of those irregular verbs, isn’t it?
I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he’s being charged under section 2A of theOfficial Secrets Act.[7]

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