”Hold afstand!” Handlingsanvisende risikokommunikation under COVID19

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The paper considers risk communication in Denmark during the COVID19 pandemic. It investigates the expression hold afstand (‘keep distance’) as it is used by a regional transportation company. Considering both grammar, semantics and pragmatics, it points out that where- as the grammar and semantics of the expression are somewhat ambiguous, the actual use of it suggests that its meaning gets settled for all practical purposes relative to the context of use. The paper argues that the ambiguity of the expression affords an openness considering appropriate interpretations of it. As such, hold afstand appears to be a well-chosen expression in a situation in which the transport company has to balance the silver lining of guiding anxious passengers while simultaneously mobilising potentially resisting passengers through a certain space for interpretation.
Original languageDanish
JournalNy Forskning i Grammatik
Issue number29
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022

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