21 May 2010

Hillary Clinton warns North Korea of 'consequences' (again)

It's nearly a year since North Korea announced it had exploded a nuclear weapon as powerful as the one that destroyed Hiroshima - which prompted US secretary of State Hillary Clinton to warn them: "There are consequences to such actions"

After the sinking of a South Korean ship by the North Koreans, she's on about 'consequences' again (see video clip below).

'Pre-delicate' hitches
Last year, I made the point that her warning about 'consequences' was punctuated by a large number of 'pre-delicate' hitches', for more on which see HERE and HERE.

What's interesting about Mrs Clinton's latest dire threat to the North Koreans - 'provocative actions have consequences' - is that there are so many 'hitches' (i.e. ums, ers and pauses) after she issues the warning.

'Post-delicicate' hitches?
This raises the question of whether conversation analysts should be turning their attention to analysing a new and possibly related pheomenon, namely 'post-delicate hitches'.

Or do they simply indicate that the US Secretary of State knows perfectly well that the Americans' 'best actions moving forward' will be exactly the same as they were last year - i.e. nothing much?


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