So we frequently express group opinions that we happen to agree with, even though we do not know why anymore. By listening for lost performatives, we can identify outdated ideas and contextually inappropriate beliefs or however appropriate as they may have been in the past.
Things like clichés and new age rhetoric that “everyone” knows are true. Even though some of these truisms are useful. There is no reference to the origin. And so they disconnect.
An example of a lost performative is this one: “It is important to vote Democratic in this family”. This can be easily challenged by asking “According to whom, specifically?”. Or, if you want to go a tad more confrontational: “Says who?” which also elicits the sender of the initial statement.
As an exercise, write out some sentence fragments using lost performative patterns, so as to gain skill in recognising them in day-to-day conversation. In NLP Lost Performative Index is part of the higher chunk called Distortion which is part of the Meta Model.
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